Warnings about performance drugs

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 25, 2005

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The American Academy of Pediatricians urged doctors, schools and coaches to discourage young athletes from using dietary substances, prescription medicines and illicit drugs that children and teens might think carry performance-enhancing powers.

Virtually no data are available on the efficacy and safety of these supplements and drugs in young people, said the AAP in a policy statement that appears in the April Pediatrics.

The statement recommends that pediatric health care professionals promote safe physical activity and sports participation by providing or making available sound medical information on exercise physiology, conditioning, nutrition, weight management and injury prevention and by helping to care for sports-related medical conditions and injuries.

The new policy also cautions against the use of scare tactics or the dismissal of the performance-enhancing effects of these substances because this approach could seriously damage the physician's credibility and would likely do little to diminish use.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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