Attention Deficit Disorder ("ADD") affects countless school age children. ADD is often treated with drugs like Ritalin or Adderall. Both are widely acknowledged as effective weapons against attention disorders in both children and adults. Recently however, some physicians have begun prescribing powerful anti-psychotic medications to treat attention disorders in children. Drugs like Risperdal and Zyprexa were not developed for use in treating children, but some doctors have begun prescribing them nonetheless.
A recent New York Times article discussed certain observed side effects of Risperdal’s use in children. According to the article, children using Risperdal have suffered stroke, movement disorders, and weight gain. The evidence pointed to seems somewhat anecdotal, but does deserve attention, especially in light of the fact that Risperdal is not approved for use in treatment of juvenile attention disorders. None of this is to mention the potential effect anti-psychotic drugs may have on the brain function and neurochemistry of a still developing brain.