For children affected by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), medications, such as Ritalin, Dexedrine and Concerta, are vital to help them manage the symptoms of this condition. These same drugs that are meant to help children, can actually harm them. ADHD medications have been known to increase heart rates and blood pressure.
It is estimated that nearly 2.5 million children and teenagers take stimulants to manage their ADHD in the United States. Overall, these drugs have been safe for children, but there have been some reported deaths. The main danger associated with these drugs has to do with children with heart problems.
From 1992 through early 2005, there were 11 reported deaths among children who were taking medications, such as Ritalin and Concerta. Thirteen deaths were attributed to amphetamines, such as Adderall and Dexedrine. There were also three reported deaths of children taking Strattera, which is an ADHD medication. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration now requires that drug manufacturers include a warning label on ADHD drugs about the risk of sudden death in patients with heart problems. However, it is unknown how big of a problem ADHD drugs are for children, as there is no registry to record adverse events.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that children being treated for ADHD should be screened for hidden heart problems. The organization suggests that an electrocardiogram (ECG) be performed on the child and should be included in the monitoring process, along with the child’s medical history and physical examination. The AHA also recommends that the child’s medications be reviewed prior to ADHD treatment.
If your child has been harmed by an ADHD medication, such as Ritalin, Dexedrine, Concerta or Strattera, you should contact a personal injury attorney in Lakeland who will be able to provide you with information regarding your child’s legal rights. Your child may be entitled to financial compensation for his or her injuries. Contact the Law Offices of Lilly, O’Toole & Brown, LLP at (863) 683-1111 for a free legal consultation.