Ok so I was asked about ADHD medication for a 5yr old little boy. So, I researched about it and found some notable information.
Methylphendate is the most common medication used to treat ADHD. It's use in children under 6 has not been FDA approved. Brand names for this med are Ritalin, Concerta, Methylin and Metadate.
I found "The Preschool ADHD Treatment Study" or "PATS" which is the first large long term study done to determine the asfety and effectiveness of treat young/preschool children, ages 3-5, who have ADHD with methylphendate.
303 children between 3-5 with severe ADHD participated, with parents consent of course. During the study the young children's health was monitored closely, carefully and repeatedly.
Despite concerns that these stimulants can increase pulse or blood pressure, during the study any changes in the children's pulse or blood pressure were minor. However, the medication did appear to slow their growth rates by a small amount. Through the studies duration the preschoolers grew about a half an inch less and weighed about 3lbs less than normal, based on the average growth rates in children 3-5yr of age. But, this side effect was also recognized not to occur in more than 3% of children on stimulants.
89% of the children tolerated the drug well and successfully and 11% dropped out from intolerable side effects. Such as if the loss of weight was 10% or more of his/her baseline weight, it was considered a severe enough effect to be discontinued.
Side effects also include weight loss, loss of appetite, troubles sleeping, mood swings and skin picking behaviors. It was also noted that children in this age range were more sensitive to the side effects of this drug.
In conclusion, the study shows that children 3-5 with ADHD can benefit from this medicine safely, however children this young are more sensitive to the side effects.
This DOES NOT include Adderall. I was unable to find any studies on Adderall except that it is not recommended in children under 3 and hasn't been studied in those under 6yrs old.
There are natural medications that are made to treat ADHD in children as well. Please read
Natural ADHD Medications vs Prescriptions if you haven't already. Some of the ones that are promoted and accessible on my blog are Synaptol and Focus Formula. I know Synaptol which I promote on my blog is an FDA approved OTC natural ADHD medicine. (click Synaptol or FDA to view the approval).
I hope this helps anyone wondering about ADHD medicines for their young child :) Thanks for reading!!