ADHD Meds May Cause Heart Problems in Children

ADHD Meds May Carry Risk

Uncommon but Real Risk to Children Taking Ritalin, Concerta

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can take certain medications to help control their behavior, but is it worth the risk of a heart attack by middle age?

Doctors are conflicted about the answer to that question. Links between ADHD, its treatments, and heart problems in children have been disputed for years, but the newest research conducted by the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology found an increased rate of heart issues in young patients taking methylphenidates (Ritalin, Concerta). These issues included high blood pressure, arrhythmia, heart attack, or heart disease. The report claims that while the risk of such problems is elevated, they affect only a small percentage of children.

Medical professionals complete the study with a lukewarm statement about what consumers should take away from their findings – the risk is small, but real. They believe the benefits for children suffering from ADHD are significant enough to warrant the chance of becoming ill. Their calculations place 1% of patients at significant risk for serious side effects.

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Source: "ADHD drugs may up risk of heart problems in kids." CBS News. July 3, 2014.