Monday, April 21, 2008

" Heart exam, EKG recommended before children get ADHD drugs"

This article from the AP reported on Yahoo caught our eye. Check out the full article here

Here are some key points made in the article:

"Children should be screened for heart problems with an electrocardiogram before getting drugs like Ritalin to treat hyperactivity and attention-deficit disorder, the American Heart Association recommended Monday.
We don't want to keep children who have this 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 head of the committee making the recommendation."

The article then goes on to say:

"The label warnings were added after a review by the Food and Drug Administration of its databases found reports of 19 sudden deaths in children treated with ADHD drugs and 26 reports of other problems including strokes and fast heart rates between 1999 and 2003. There were also reports of heart problems in adults; the committee didn't look at adults."


"Dr. Steven Pliszka, a child psychiatrist at the University of Texas in San Antonio, is quoted as saying he is "baffled by the EKG recommendation." The article quoted him as saying "there's no evidence that sudden death is a bigger problem for children taking stimulants than for children who aren't taking the drugs."

Interestingly, the author also states that this psychiatrist has received research support or served as a consultant for makers of ADHD drugs.

We're not in the medical business here at Montessori House. Bits of the article just leapt out and we wanted to share them with our readers. The University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine is as well-known as our Johns Hopkins alma mater, so it's noteworthy that a pediatric cardiologist there has issued the statement she did.

As always, we'd love to hear from you!

1 comment:

Christina said...

Wonderful blog!