Elisaldo A. Carlini, Solange A. Nappo CEBRID (Centro Brasileiro de Informações sobre Drogas Psicotrópicas) Departamento de Psicobiologia – UNIFESP-EPM.
Vagner Nogueira, Fernando G. M. Naylor Novartis Biociências, São Paulo, Brasil.
Four hundred and sixty three brazilian neurologists and 411 brazilian psychiatrists answered a questionnaire aimed at to obtain information on the prescription of methylphenidate for the treatment of the Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. The majority of the doctors reported the erratic occurrence of a few non serious adverse reactions such as headache, weight loss, inapetence, hyperexcitability and tachycardia. On the other hand, only six doctors reported cases that cold raise a suspicion of drug dependence, although none of these six cases satisfied the ICD-10 criteria for dependence. The vast majority of the medical doctors manifested the opinion that the especial prescriptions the “Notifications A” of yellow color, the same used for opiates also, as demanded by the Brazilian Health Authorities, is inadequate as it raises misconceptions in relation to the real patient disease and frightens the parents and relatives. The doctors also claimed the such especial prescription form encumbers the prescription of the medicament making methylphenidate the second choice for the treatment and, for this reason, less available in pharmacies and drugstores. As a consequence the adherence to the treatment is more difficult to attain. The neurologists and psychiatrists agree that a certain control over methylphenidate is necessary, but as it is prescribed mostly by specialists and does not possess an evident abuse potential, the “Prescription Notification B”, of blue color, would be enough for efficient control. In fact, according to the doctors, the scheduling in Brazil of methylphenida
Keywords:Methylphenidate; Prescriptions; Controlled drugs; Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; Drug dependence.