Are Candy Flavored ADHD Medications for Kids Problematic?

With millions of kids taking medications for ADHD, a new candy flavored amphetamine meant for children is causing a controversy. The Doctors discuss the new med with addiction specialist Paul Moen and child & adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Domenick Sportelli.

In Paul’s experience running a drug and alcohol treatment center, he says that for 80 percent of his patients the first addictive drug they misused was an ADHD med. “I would be very concerned that giving something a candy flavor and making it more attractive and palatable to young children… would be very concerning to parents,” he says.

Watch: Alternative Treatments for Childhood ADHD

Dr. Sportelli, who treats kids for ADHD in his practice, tells The Doctors, “These medicines should never be given [as a] first line [of defense] for a true diagnosis for ADHD. We have a lot of things before we do that, for example, behavior intervention, psychological intervention, school intervention with educational providers, parenting education as well. And if that all doesn’t work, we even have non-stimulant medications for ADHD… and if that doesn’t work we go to the stimulants.”

As for the medication being candy flavored, Dr. Sportelli says it was “initially disturbing,” but then he realized that for the select population who have trouble taking and swallowing pills that having a candy flavored option greatly benefited them and their parents. He notes that he would never prescribe the candy flavored option to an older adolescent.

Watch: Tips for Treating Childhood ADHD   

The Doctors remind parents that if your child has been diagnosed with ADHD to make sure the diagnosis is correct and that they truly need the medication being prescribed. They also suggest that your child should be treated by a specialist.

Watch the video below to find out what the company behind the medication had to say about making the ADHD medication candy flavored.

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