Attention Drugs May Be Linked to Sudden Death in Kids

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Findings from a study recently published online in The American Journal of Psychiatry suggest a link between sudden unexplained death in children and teens and stimulant use. Among 564 children and teens who experienced sudden death 1.8% were taking prescribed stimulants; this figure is significantly higher than the .4% of those in control groups that were not taking the stimulants. “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,” the authors commented. According to Mark Olfson, M.D., M.P.H, of Columbia University in New York City, and co-author of the study, “it is clear that the great majority of children and adolescents in the U.S. who are receiving stimulants are receiving them for a clinical diagnosis of ADHD and so, in that sense, these data are relevant for the management of ADHD.” Perhaps these findings will cause physicians to consider whether stimulants should be used as a front-line treatment for ADHD. Click here to read an article from WebMD that discusses the findings more.

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