Paediatric attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and complementary and alternative therapies

Fay Karpouzis

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    According to the systematic reviews the data on the safety, effectiveness and efficacy and long-term use of stimulant medications for paediatric Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) is conflicting. Uncertainty still surrounds the balance of risks and benefits of long-term drug treatment. Current evidence strongly points to significant parental concerns about exposing their children to psychopharmacological interventions. This appears to be the case despite the evidence base for the use of stimulant medications. Children with AD/HD who are treated with stimulants often show side-effects. Across studies, the most frequently examined adverse effects of stimulant medications have been appetite suppression, weight loss, sleep disturbances, irritability, stomach aches, headaches, rashes, nausea, fatigue and occasionally the development or aggravation of tics. Cardiovascular effects and reductions in growth velocity have also been reported. Controversy over the safety and appropriateness of stimulant treatment has led to increased parental anxiety and the increased use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies. Many parents prefer to find more natural treatments for their children with AD/HD. In general, parents seek CAM therapies for their children because a particular allopathic treatment was considered ineffective, dissatisfaction with conventional medicine, fear of drug adverse effects and a need for more personal attention for their children. As a result of this controversy, CAM therapies are sought more often by parents who have children with developmental and behavioural disorders such as AD/HD, than with any other condition. The following chapter outlines the variety of CAM therapies available for paediatric AD/HD.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAlternative medicine
    Subtitle of host publicationpractices, health benefits and controversies
    EditorsKenneth R. Carter, George E Murphy
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherNova Science Publishers
    Number of pages28
    ISBN (Print)9781622571062
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Publication series

    NameHealth care issues, costs and access
    PublisherNova Science Publishers


    Dive into the research topics of 'Paediatric attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and complementary and alternative therapies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this