Another ADHD Med Bites The Dust!

Written by dr. j. Posted in Rants

Where do all the good drugs go?
Or should I say, where do all the CHEAP drugs go?

Today I read that Abbott Labs recently announced that they were pulling the drug Cylert due to declining sales. Well, that isn’t surprising at all. Ask anyone about ADD meds and Cylert never even comes up in the barrage of names they return.

Actually, although this was printed out at work TODAY, the date of this announcement is March of 2005.

2005? I never HEARD of this.


Well, I don’t prescribe this med. And when I did test it out YEARS ago, it didn’t work well. So, why would I give it?

This article was more about the consumer group, Public Citizen, petitioning the FDA to ban the drug due to reported cases of liver damage.

Well, when I FIRST learned about Cylert, that was the main warning I was told about…and I mean 20 years ago (has it been THAT long?). So why were they acting as though THIS is anything new?

Despite that, the drug was still making the company $1 million in sales. That is a mere pittance in view of drugs like Viagra that did a BILLION dollars in its first year.

However, Cylert costs pennies to make and they are spending like nothing to market it. So, we’re talking pure profit for Abbott.

What concerns me is the trend of retiring GOOD old drugs that are very inexpensive in favor of tres expensive newer drugs – drugs that aren’t necessarily better, but USUALLY have loads more side effects.

This has already occurred in several systems I’ve worked it with drugs like mellaril and liquid thorazine. There are even new FAKE black box warning issued to help validate retiring these drugs, ALWAYS in favor of a significantly more expensive alternative.


This trend is one reason for the rising cost of prescription drugs. We won’t even mention the kickbacks many of these SYSTEMS get for making this happen.

Too bad I don’t live closer to Tijuana!

I think it’ll inspire a song…that goes like this…

“Where Did All The Good (Cheap) Drugs Go?”


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Comments (130)

  • dr. j


    @ Adam

    Thanks for your comment.

    I, too, was concerned about the potential for liver damage…which was one reason I rarely prescribed this. I don’t know why anyone would give this, unless, they were older and had good results on it.

    There are other alternatives…

    Be well.


  • Adam


    I remember when I was a kid having this listed as an option, but my mother did not want to put me through the mandatory blood test EVERY SIX WEEKS to make sure it wasn’t killing my liver.

    Oh, so what they did instead: when I was in 6th grade, the ritalin dosage I had been getting seemed less effective than before, so my doc kept upping it…25mg. 35mg. 40mg? 55mg!?! imagine a child small for his age (I was about the size of your normal 8 year old when I was 11) taking dosages that would seem high for a college student. Naturally, the docs are still doing this.


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