More U.S. Kids Overdosing on ADHD Drugs
The surge in U.S. kids taking medication for ADHD is having an unintended side effect, a new study suggests: more children and teens are overdosing on these drugs. Nationwide, U.S. Poison Control Centers received more than 156,000 calls about exposures to ADHD drugs among youth ages 19 and younger between 2000 and 2014, researchers report in Pediatrics. Medication errors related to dosing or timing were the most common cause of overdoses, the study found. Parents can help prevent accidental overdoses in young children by storing pills out of reach and supervising daily doses for kids who need the drugs so they don’t take it more often than they should, said Dr. Yolanda Evans of Seattle Children’s Hospital. “Things that can help include weekly pill boxes to show kids that they’ve already taken their dose for the day, parent help in distributing daily doses of medications, or (if possible) having a school nurse give the morning dose of a medication at school,” said Evans, who wasn’t involved in the study. With older kids and teens, supervision is still key to avoid accidental or intentional misuse of ADHD drugs, Evans said.
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