Stimulant medications prescribed for ADHD are safe for children with congenital heart disease and other severe heart conditions, according to research from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Researchers report that children with heart conditions taking stimulant medications did not have a higher risk of cardiovascular side effects. They found no evidence of changes in blood pressure or heart rate in the children taking ADHD medications.
“Children with congenital heart disease are at high risk for ADHD, but fears about cardiovascular side effects, including sudden death, limit the use of stimulant medications,” says Julia Anixt, MD, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at Cincinnati Children’s and senior author of the study. “This study indicates that stimulants are both effective and safe when prescribed with appropriate monitoring and in collaboration with the patient’s cardiologist.”
The study, about the safety of ADHD medications, was presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics in Las Vegas.