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Heart Tests for Kids on ADHD Medication?

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

The American Heart Association has a warning for children taking Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder medication…get screened for heart problems. Stimulant drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta can increase blood pressure and heart rate. For many children, this is not a problem, but for those with a heart condition it could put them at risk for sudden cardiac arrest.

Many of these medications carry a label warning for the nearly 2.5 million American children who take the medication for their ADHD. “We don’t want to keep children from being treated , we want to do it as safely as possible” said Dr. Victoria Vetter, a pediatric cardiologist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the head of the committee making the recommendation. The committee is recommending an EKG to detect any heart problems.

If your child is taking any of these medications, you should check with your pediatrician and discuss these new recommendations.

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