Stimulant Drugs Cited for Deaths
Think prescription stimulant drugs are safe for your children? Consider this—from 1999 to 2003, 25 people died without warning and 54 others had unexplained heart problems while taking stimulants like Ritalin. The reports, issued by federal drug regulators, raise concerns about the overall safety of the most popularly prescribed drugs in the world.
In 2004, doctors wrote about 29 million prescriptions for stimulant drugs, such as Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta. The stimulant medications are most commonly used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) and hyperactivity. A majority of the prescriptions were written for children; 19 of the stimulant deaths and 26 of the serious heart problems were attributed to children.
The report urged patients and doctors to carefully consider whether a patient has pre-existing heart problems before prescribing stimulants that increase blood pressure and heart rates and can raise the risk of cardiovascular problems.
For more information about dangerous drugs, visit the Dangerous Drug Legal Center.
Source: “Deaths Cited In Drug Reports, But Their Cause Is Uncertain.” By Gardiner Harris. The New York Times. February 9, 2006.