Impulse drug

3rd November 2000 at 00:00
GUIDELINES on National Health Service use of Ritalin, the controversial drug for hyperactivity, were published this week by a government body, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.

More than 150,000 people in the UK, mainly children, are on Ritalin after being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a condiion causing severe impulsive, restless and inattentive behaviour. The guidelines say when and how Ritalin should be prescribed, in a bid to end the inconsistencies in treatment in England and Wales.

The advice will also say more clearly who can benefit from Ritalin in order to halt misuse and over-prescription of the drug.

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