Dramatic rise in ADHD medication mishaps among kids and teens, report finds

Dr. Jennifer Ashton discusses a new report in the Journal of Pediatrics which says pediatric exposures to ADHD medications are an increasing problem, affecting children and teens across the country.
2:17 | 05/23/18

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Transcript for Dramatic rise in ADHD medication mishaps among kids and teens, report finds
story. Have a new study that is finding an increase in ADHD medication mishaps among kids based on calls to poison control centers. Dr. Jennifer Ashton is here with details. I end up right here. You're amazing. How I made it over here. Break down the study. This appeared in the journal "Pediatrics." The number one psychiatric medication prescribed in this country to kid and teenagers. The estimate lapse class of ADHD meds and this study really wanted to look at what kind of incidents were reported to poison control centers over a 14-year period. Take a look at these number, over 150,000 calls to poison control numbers, the overwhelming number involved children under 12 and the most common therapeutic error was disdosing or overdosing forgetting someone gave a dose and giving it again. These are big numbers. Big numbers, of course, you're a doctor and you have a child that is dealing with this issue. What is the most important thing we need it to know? A little mini med school pharmacology. This is first line fda approved to treating kids and teens with ADHD. They are stimulants so they increase activation in the brain, they increase brain waves, very, very helpful but like any medication, they have a long list of side effects and they are associated with an increased risk of dependence and/or abuse. When you talk about the side effects like agitation, insomnia, rapid heartrate. Unintentional weight loss, a major issue for children and teenagers, high blood pressure. Most are minor and temporary. There is a black box warning for some of them with sudden death if you have a certain type of heart defect but these are described as turning the lights on for someone who is trying to work in the dark. So it's about balancing those risks and benefit. What about other treatments, medication? Obviously it's individually -- it has to be targeted to that child or teenager. There are other prescription medications that can be used but medicine is not one size fits all and really about finding what works for that particular child but awareness is key. All right, as always. Thanks so much, Jen. Michael has made it outside.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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