Too Young to Know

By: Tara Hettinger
By: Tara Hettinger

"When hes on the medicine he's in his own world to me," said Debbie Abney, mother of 6-year-old son on medication.

"It's heartbreaking... I mean because you want to do something for him but you don't know what to do," said Sharon Logsdon, mother of teenage son on medication.

Debbie Abney and Sharon Logsdon are two stay at home moms. Both have had their children on numerous psychiatric medications. Now they are beginning to wonder about possible effects this may be having on their children now and in the future.

"You can never be 100% sure there won't be some side effect that shows up long term," said Doctor Chris Smith.

Because lately the side effects are becoming all to real for these parents.

"You hear your son talking about killing his self... That's unreal that's something that... It's like it was on TV. You know it wasn't real," said Logsdon. "The doctor was like well... That is a side effect that can happen? I was like why didn't you tell me this before??? "

She's not the only parent who feels left in the dark. Abney's doctor prescribed ADD medication for her child, after a preschool teacher complained about him being fidgety in class. That was 3 years ago.

"I didn't know of any kind of side effects and still don't know of any of them. It's been this long and I still haven't been told of anything other than it might make him sleepy for a while this has been 3 years... When does the sleepiness wear off????"

"Because what they do is OK if this ain't working let's higher the dose and that increases him not sleeping... I mean this has got to be bad for his system," said Logsdon.

The medication is used on top of the other medication to help reduce the side effects that are showing up now.

But what's in store for your child's future??

"I don't really think the long term effects are known," said pharmacist Rick Mathews.

Because the medications used now are still young.

That's leaving doctors and pharmacists using a trial and error method.

"There can be too many medicines or too much of a medicine used and sometimes you don't know it's gonna be too much medicine until you use it," said Dr. Smith.

The uncertainty is leaving some parents uneasy.

"It's enough to scare you... It's enough to think twice about what he's taking," said Abney.

If you would like to get specific information about prescription medication you can call the FDA at 1-888- INFO-FDA. You can also go to www.fda.gov for more information.

Coming up tomorrow night in Part 3 of Too Young to Know hear about the alternatives to medication and questions to ask your doctor before you start your child on any treatment.


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