Doctors warn against treating ADHD with coffee

September 7, 2011

Christie Haskell says her 6-year-old son showed signs of ADHD. She decided to try coffee to treat it.

Haskell says her son has a 4-ounce cup in the morning and another one after school. She says she noticed his behavior improved right away.

But some doctors are not convinced.

"He doesn't overreact if we ask him to pick up Legos, rather than screaming and throwing himself on the floor," said Haskell. "And if we ask him to sit down and do homework he can actually do it."

"Caffeine is not the answer for real bona fide ADHD," said Dr. David Rosenberg, Children's HOSPITAL of Michigan. "I don't want parents to be deluded into a false sense of security that if I just go to the local Starbucks I'm going to cure my son or daughter's ADHD."

Doctors warn parents to be wary of unproven treatments. They say potentially dangerous side effects of caffeine in children include a higher heart rate, higher blood pressure and headaches.

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