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New Warnings for ADHD Medications

By: Amanda Humes
By: Amanda Humes

New warnings have come out for popular medications prescribed for people with attention deficit hyper activity disorder, or ADHD. But local experts say there's no need to worry just yet.

An FDA advisory committee wants the highest level of warnings put on the labels for drugs used to treat ADHD.

Medicines like Ritalin and Adderall could get what's called the "black box" warning. The recommendation stems from a report which shows a possible link between the drugs and sudden death or heart problems.

"I'm not alarmed. I'm not afraid to prescribe what I've found to be a very effective medication," said Pediatrician, Dr. Jesse Parr.

Parr says the report actually studied several patients who were already at risk or had a family history of heart disease.

"They're not saying that there's an increased risk. They're saying there is a concern that we need to watch carefully," said Dr. Parr.

There are other treatment options besides medication for ADHD. Psychologist Adam Saenz counsels children who have ADHD and says there's not always a need for medication.

"We need to think about the child's environment and there are two things in particular. The home environment and the relational environment," said Saenz.

Saenz says keeping a child on a consistent schedule can help them adjust to the disorder. He says each case of ADHD needs to be looked at from several aspects.

“It’s hard to say which intervention is most effective, whether it's medication or environmental. The ideal scenario is to offer support in all areas," said Saenz.

The FDA hasn't decided whether the drugs will get the new warning yet. Doctors have pointed out that there has been no definitive evidence that links the drugs to heart problems or sudden death.


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