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ADHD Medications

Serious Side-Effects Linked to ADHD Medications

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral disorder characterized by difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity). ADHD affects approximately 3 percent to 7 percent of school-aged children and approximately 4 percent of adults.

ADHD is commonly treated with drug therapy through the use of stimulant and non-stimulant medications. ADHD drugs have an array of serious side-effects that can cause serious or fatal injury to children and adults.

FDA Warnings

In 2007, the FDA mandated that all makers of ADHD drugs develop Patient Medication Guides which would alert patients to possible heart and psychiatric problems related to ADHD medications, specifically stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall.

In 2008, another warning was issued specifically for the non-stimulant ADHD drug atomoxetine (Strattera) after studies indicated that children and teenagers who took Strattera were at greater risk for suicidal thoughts.

Types of ADHD Medications

Non-stimulants:

  • Atomoxetine (Strattera)

Stimulants:

  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Metadate, Concerta, Daytrana)
  • Amphetamine (Adderall)
  • Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, Dextrostat)
Serious Side Effects of Commonly Prescribed ADHD Meds

Ritalin

  • Hypersensitivity (including skin rash, urticaria, fever, arthralgia, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme with histopathological findings of necrotizing vasculitis, and thrombocytopenic purpura)
  • Anorexia
  • Dyskinesia (tics)
  • Heart palpitations
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Blood pressure and pulse changes
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Death

Adderall

  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Impotence
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Death

Concerta

  • Sleeplessness
  • Tics
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Allergic reactions
  • Psychosis (abnormal thinking or hallucinations)

Strattera

  • Decrease in appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Mood swings
  • Suicidal thoughts

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