FDA Alert : Stimulants and children

Got this FDA alert in my inbox today:

It linked to this article:

FDA notified healthcare professionals that it is providing its perspective on study data published in the American Journal of Psychiatry on the potential risks of stimulant medications used to treat Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children. This study, funded by the FDA and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), compared the use of stimulant medications in 564 healthy children from across the United States who died suddenly to the use of stimulant medications in 564 children who died as passengers in a motor vehicle accident.The study authors concluded that there may be an association between the use of stimulant medications and sudden death in healthy children.

This is not a new issue, but I guess it’s being revisited more seriously. Better late then never, though they’re still encouraging parents to consider risks and benefits of using what amounts to speed in their children.

Update: From the Washington Post:

Children taking stimulant drugs such as Ritalin to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are several times as likely to suffer sudden, unexplained death as children who are not taking such drugs

5 thoughts on “FDA Alert : Stimulants and children

  1. Yeah G, what happens is, they get prescribed Ritalin (or Concerta, or Strattera, or Adderall) and then when they flip out (because hey, that’s what speed does to people)… they get re-dx’ed or co-dx’ed as pediatric bipolar disorder. Which then, of course, gives the psychiatrists free reign to throw them all kinds of crap: benzos, neuroleptics, anti-depressants, “mood stabilizers”, anti-convulsants, whatever.

    It especially bothers me when it comes to children though. I’m very glad this is coming to light, I think more should be out there about it. I’m always amazed at how easily some parents will just follow a doctor’s advice without researching it thoroughly. I’m pretty sure my husband’s little brother was put on Adderall recently.

    Oh yeah, and how lame is it that they dx ADD/ADHD by having you take A SURVEY?!?! Fred Baughman rocks my world.

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  2. Usually the way these things go is it is rare so difficult to “prove” an association although in fact you real risk is probably doubled, which is a risk most people don’t want to take. In my reading of this though most of the kids who died were on multiple medications.

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