Annual treatment holiday urged for Ritalin patients

People taking Ritalin should have a treatment holiday at least once a year, the European Medicines Agency has said.

The agency assessed the safety of Ritalin, which is used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other products containing methylphenidate in response to concerns about its cardiovascular safety.

The review concluded that methylphenidate-containing medicines are safe for the treatment of ADHD in patients over six years old.

However, it said that there is a lack of information on the long-term effects of the drug.

‘For patients who take methylphenidate for more than a year, doctors should interrupt treatment at least once a year to determine whether continued treatment with methylphenidate is necessary,’ the agency said.

It also called for additional studies of the long-term effects of the drug to be carried out.

tom.moberly@haymarket.com

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