Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

No Risk of CVD Events Seen with ADHD Meds

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

No Risk of CVD Events Seen with ADHD Meds

Article excerpt


Medications for attentiondeficit/hyperactivity disorder do not increase the risk of serious cardiovascular events among young and middle-aged adults, according to the results of a retrospective, population-based cohort study.

Stimulants such as methylphenidate, amphetamines, and pemoline, as well as the selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine, are known to raise heart rate and to increase systolic blood pressure by approximately 2-5 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 1-3 mm Hg. 'Although these effects would be expected to slightly increase risk for myocardial infarction, sudden cardiac death, and stroke, clinical trials have not been large enough to assess risk of these events," said Laurel A. Habel, Ph.D., of Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, and her associates.

Moreover, cardiovascular safety data from pharmacoepidemiologic studies have been "limited and inconsistent" to date, they said.

The relationship between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications and cardiovascular risk was examined in a large, geographically and sociodemographically diverse cohort of 443,198 adults aged 25-64 years. A total of 150,359 subjects used ADHD medications, including methylphenidate (45%), amphetamines (44%), atomoxetine, (8%), and pemoline (3%).

Medication use was assessed using pharmacy data on filled prescriptions. In addition, the medical records for all potential cases of MI, sudden cardiac death, and stroke were reviewed to verify those events. …

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