Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Heart tests urged before children take ADHD drugs

From the Ottawa Citizen:
Every child prescribed Ritalin or other ADHD drugs should first get heart tests to check for conditions that could put them at risk of sudden unexpected death, U.S. experts are recommending.

The drugs --among the most widely-prescribed pills to Canadian children -- can increase blood pressure and heart rate, side effects that could be dangerous for children with known heart problems or heart defects.

But some children can have undiagnosed heart conditions without showing any symptoms.

"They might get a little bit dizzy when they exercise or they might feel fluttering heartbeats or a near fainting spell that they don't bother to worry about," says Dr. Catherine Webb, professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago and chair of the council on cardiovascular disease in the young at the American Heart Association. ...more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Most of the commonly used drugs for ADHD come with the warning of increased heartbeats, but yet children get the prescriptions without EKG tests. I believe that dealing with ADHD is better choice than a potential heart failure in a child's life.