Parent says his son was over-medicated by mental health service for three years

Family from Kerry concerned over effects of being given three ADHD drugs instead of one

‘A lot of his feelings were suppressed for three years.’ Photograph: iStock

‘A lot of his feelings were suppressed for three years.’ Photograph: iStock

 

A Kerry parent has said his son, who is a client of South Kerry Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), had been put on three medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for three years when he should only have been on one.

The family are worried about the effects and are also concerned it went on for so long.

Their son had to be “weaned off” two of the medications as he could not be taken off all the drugs at once.

The family became aware of the over-prescription when the CAMHS wrote to ask them to attend for appointment in Killarney last September/October. A doctor there informed them the child, now an adolescent, had been over-medicated.

“The doctor told me, ‘your son has been over-medicated and should never have been on three drugs together,’” the man, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

He had been on Risperidol, a drug normally prescribed for schizophrenia, along with Medikinet, which treats hyperactivity, and Concerta. He is now on the third medication only, which is more specific for ADHD.

However, the teenager could not be taken off the surplus medicines immediately because of withdrawal effects.

The effects of being on so much medication is worrying the family.

“A lot of his feelings were suppressed for three years,” his father said.

The man believes the over-prescription was not an isolated event. His son remains a client of the service.