Sunday, December 01, 2002

Wanna new drug?

So there's a new gun in the arsenal of weaponry aimed at wiping out ADHD: Strattera, recently approved by the FDA and already complete with its own website. The main marketing advantage of Strattera seems to be that it's not a stimulant, and therefore not a controlled substance, making niceties like phone-in prescription refills and free samples available to the hyperactive and their families for the first time. The drug apparently works by preventing the "reuptake" of norepinephrine, making more of that impulse-controlling neurotransmitter available to jittery little brains (and big ones, too; Strattera is the first drug tested for adult ADHD). However, even Strattera maker Eli Lilly admits in its FAQ on the drug that "the precise mechanism by which Strattera works on ADHD is not known." If that doesn't fill you with confidence, rest assured that six -- count 'em, six! -- studies have been done to prove Strattera safe, with a relatively long period of effectiveness and relatively mild side effects like nausea and tiredness. So the question becomes, do you want your kid to be the first on your block or in your school to try a brand spanking new drug? I have to admit that, although I've always been against medication for my own personal jumpy little guy, the thought of trying something before it has a whole bunch of scary anecdotes and glassy-eyed prescriptees attached to it has a certain appeal. It's on my mind, for sure. But how 'bout you have your kid try it first?

No comments: