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Potential Health Risks of ADHD Drugs Probed by FDA

The Food and Drug Administration in the U.S.takes recognition on the potential health risks arising from the intake of different drugs prescribed as pharmaceutical intervention to improve the condition of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. The health agency directed the different drug manufacturers of medicines formulated for the treatment of ADHD to disclose to the consumers about the potential risks of developing cardiovascular diseases and possible psychological adverse effects from taking the drugs. They are ordered to release a Patient Medication Guide that would advise consumers of the drugs to take precautions on the possible side effects arising from drug intake of medicines used in the treatment of ADHD.

Among the reported adverse effects of customary drug intake include serious cardiovascular complications and sudden death among patients who already have a medical condition involving cardiac health. Stroke and cardiac arrest are also very common in adults taking the medications prescribed for ADHD.

Consumers of the ADHD medications can also possibly develop psychiatric symptoms. The possibility ratio for developing manic depressive symptoms is 1:1000. Among the psychiatric symptoms that can manifest include hearing voices, anxiety, suspiciousness, and manic depression. Even individuals without any history of mental illness can potentially develop these psychiatric symptoms.

The condition of ADHD involves hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention as major symptoms. The condition occurs in about 3 to 7 percent among school children and 4 percent among adults. Although there is no accurate study that could prove ADHD as a disease, it is worth the attempt of continuous research to understand fully the nature of the disease. Individuals with ADHD typically have problems in their social interaction with low self esteem and difficulty in establishing social relationships.

FDA authorities want the drug manufacturers of ADHD medication to revise their product labels to disclose the potential risks of developing cardiovascular diseases from the use of their medical products to the consumers. This order was done in 2006 after the recommendation of the FDA Pediatric Advisory Committee and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee that conducted a tandem research on the issue.

The order affects these 15 medicine products:

  • Adderall (mixed salts of a single entity amphetamine product) Tablets
  • Adderall XR (mixed salts of a single entity amphetamine product) Capsules
  • Concerta (methylphenidate hydrochloride) Extended-Release Tablets
  • Daytrana (methylphenidate) Transdermal System
  • Desoxyn (methamphetamine HCl) Tablets
  • Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine sulfate) Spansule Capsules and Tablets
  • Focalin (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride) Tablets
  • Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride) Extended-Release Capsules
  • Metadate CD (methylphenidate hydrochloride) Extended-Release Capsules
  • Methylin (methylphenidate hydrochloride) Oral Solution
  • Methylin (methylphenidate hydrochloride) Chewable Tablets
  • Ritalin (methylphenidate hydrochloride) Tablets
  • Ritalin SR (methylphenidate hydrochloride) Sustained-Release Tablets
  • Ritalin LA (methylphenidate hydrochloride) Extended-Release Capsules
  • Strattera (atomoxetine HCl) Capsules