Controversies about ADHD and methylphenidate in discussions on medicalization in Argentina and Brazil

Eugenia Bianchi Silvia Faraone Francisco J. Ortega Valéria Portugal Gonçalves Rafaela Teixeira Zorzanelli About the authors


The paper aims to offer a systematic analysis of some results from investigations conducted in Argentina and Brazil relating on the use of methylphenidate, its prescription and sale’s regulation. We also examined the discussions among researchers and professionals assisting individuals diagnosed with ADHD in both countries. The article integrates two research fields. In Argentina, newspaper articles, official and professional organizations’ numeric data, and individual and group health professionals semi structured interviews conducted between 2007 and 2011 were analyzed. In Brazil scientific journals, participant observation and school teachers and health professionals were analyzed. Conclusions include that social movements in both countries have been organized and articulated, in an attempt to promote discussion on the medicalization of childhood and its deployment in society.

ADHD; methylphenidate; Argentina; Brazil; medicalization

IMS-UERJ PHYSIS - Revista de Saúde Coletiva, Instituto de Medicina Social Hesio Cordeiro - UERJ, Rua São Francisco Xavier, 524 - sala 6013-E- Maracanã, 20550-013 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Tel.: (21) 2334-0504 - ramal 268 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil