Ritalin Abuse (San Francisco Chronicle, March 24, 2006)

The Food and Drug Administration's pediatric advisory committee earlier this week not surprisingly failed to support an earlier recommendation to affix black-box warning labels of sudden death on bottles of Ritalin, the FDA's most severe action short of banning the use of the drug for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There were moments at Wednesday's hearing that looked staged, and as if they were intended to get a different verdict from a friendlier jury.

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Lawrence Diller's Statement to the FDA on March 22nd 2006

I am a behavioral-developmental pediatrician who has prescribed Ritalin and the other stimulants for nearly thirty years.  I have never been against medication.  Yet I applaud the courage of the previous advisory committee in broadening the discussion of the use of stimulants in our country beyond the cardiovascular consequences. 

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Antidepressants and Children's Depression

First published in the June 2005 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry

In October the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially announced it would require manufacturers of the SSRI and tricyclic antidepressants to add a black box warning label to the drugs' package information. This action closes the latest chapter on a decade long controversy involving the SSRIs. I attended both the February and September 2004 FDA hearings on the SSRIs and children's depression. During the meetings I was struck repeatedly by a message I heard from psychiatrists both on the expert panel and those testifying during the open public hearing section. Again and again I heard them say, "Don't take away the only thing we have to offer these kids."

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