ADHD drugs  Sudden death

Children Rx ADHD Drugs 7.4 times increased risk of sudden death

Children Rx ADHD Drugs 7.4 times increased risk of sudden death PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 June 2009

But FDA says keep taking the "medicines." Empirical findings published in the American Journal of Psychiatry lend validity to the long debated claim by critics of stimulant drugs prescribed for ADHD: that the short and long term risks are serious; the diagnosis, controversial; and the benefits are short-lived.

The study, led by Dr. Madelyn Gould of the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, involved 564 children who died suddenly. Those who had been taking stimulant drugs (i.e., amphetamines) were 7.4 times more likely to die of cardiac arrest (sudden death) than those not taking stimulants.

ADHD remains a controversial behavioral "condition" about which there is no consensus either about diagnostic criteria or appropriate treatment. Therefore, the risk of cardiac arrest from a controversial treatment is unethical.

The researchers state: "Although sudden unexplained death is a rare event, this finding should be considered in the context of other data about the risk and benefit of stimulants in medical treatment."

Not so, say FDA officials who were quick to defend the drugs, no doubt, in order to help drug manufacturers, including: Shire Pharmaceuticals Group PLC's Adderall, Johnson & Johnson's Concerta, Eli Lilly & Co.'s Strattera and Novartis AG's Ritalin--maintain profit margins.

The FDA, which partly funded the study, said there isn't enough evidence to conclude the drugs are dangerous and recommends people continue taking their medications.

How many additional dead children will it take to convince these "public servants" that their responsibility is protect children, not profit margins of Shire, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly and Novartis?

Posted by Vera Hassner Sharav