A recent systematic review of 185 randomised controlled trials of methylphenidate, "Benefits and harms of methylphenidate for children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)", found that:
1) Methylphenidate can improve some of the core symptoms of ADHD – reducing hyperactivity and impulsivity, and helping children to concentrate.
2) Methylphenidate can also help to improve the general behaviour and quality of life of children with ADHD.
3) There is no evidence to suggest that methylphenidate increase the of serious (life threatening) harms.
4) Methylphenidate is associated with an increased of non-serious harms such as sleeping problems and decreased appetite.
It is important to discuss the potential benefits and risks of starting ADHD treatment for your child with his or her psychiatrist. Whilst this review did not provide any new insights to the treatment of ADHD, it consolidates what we already know in helping children who suffers from ADHD and its related consequences. Future studies will surely shed more light and strategies on ADHD treatment.
Speak to a psychiatrist today should you suspect that your child, or yourself, has ADHD.