View Full Version : Article: FDA finds no increased heart attack risk for stimulants


Kaimei
12-12-11, 01:11 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/12/health/heart-attack-stroke-risk-adhd-meds/

I'm on my cellphone, and searching the forums is tricky so I apologize if this has been posted already. It's a popular concern though, so I thought I'd put it here.

Kimmy1
12-12-11, 02:02 PM
No need to apologize as far as I'm concerned.
This is a big forum and I'm always interested in reading information on this topic.

Dizfriz
12-12-11, 02:17 PM
Good information. It should reassure many who are concerned about the dangers of stimulants. Thanks for posting it. I will keep the reference handy.

Dizfriz

ADHDTigger
12-12-11, 02:25 PM
At one time, my doc saw a DECREASE in my blood pressure while on Ritalin. The increase since them has been due to decrease in my lung function because of an entirely unrelated disease. While I doubt that anyone considered that rather paradoxical point, the fact is that people with ADHD who are receiving adequate and appropriate treatment tend to do better over all and have less anxiety- thus fewer physical signs of anxiety... like high blood pressure- than people who do not receive appropriate treatment.

For me personally, aspirin has a much greater risk of causing me harm than Ritalin.

Considering that there is simply NO such thing as "safe" medication, I am glad to see the results of this study. It's good to see CNN present the findings- they have credibility and a wide audience.

Thanks for the link, Kaimei. Good stuff!

AshT
12-12-11, 02:31 PM
At one time, my doc saw a DECREASE in my blood pressure while on Ritalin. The increase since them has been due to decrease in my lung function because of an entirely unrelated disease. While I doubt that anyone considered that rather paradoxical point, the fact is that people with ADHD who are receiving adequate and appropriate treatment tend to do better over all and have less anxiety- thus fewer physical signs of anxiety... like high blood pressure- than people who do not receive appropriate treatment.

For me personally, aspirin has a much greater risk of causing me harm than Ritalin.

Considering that there is simply NO such thing as "safe" medication, I am glad to see the results of this study. It's good to see CNN present the findings- they have credibility and a wide audience.

Thanks for the link, Kaimei. Good stuff!
I weirdly get a decrease in blood pressure. Maybe it's due to a decrease in stress.

Kaimei
12-12-11, 05:42 PM
At one time, my doc saw a DECREASE in my blood pressure while on Ritalin. The increase since them has been due to decrease in my lung function because of an entirely unrelated disease. While I doubt that anyone considered that rather paradoxical point, the fact is that people with ADHD who are receiving adequate and appropriate treatment tend to do better over all and have less anxiety- thus fewer physical signs of anxiety... like high blood pressure- than people who do not receive appropriate treatment.

For me personally, aspirin has a much greater risk of causing me harm than Ritalin.

Considering that there is simply NO such thing as "safe" medication, I am glad to see the results of this study. It's good to see CNN present the findings- they have credibility and a wide audience.

Thanks for the link, Kaimei. Good stuff!

I've seen a decrease in just about EVERYTHING else - depression, stress-related headaches and fatigue, and a some improvement in my insomnia. It's not eradicated, but I'm no longer dependent on trazadone or any other sleep aid. My itty-bitty family is more prone to low blood pressure rather than high, but under stress that translates to dizzy spells. Haven't had any of those recently, either.

Getting rid of the headaches has been the best thing that ever happened to my liver, though - I can't take aspirin either, but I've always pushed the envelope on ibuprofen. I almost never take them anymore.

fracturedstory
12-12-11, 07:13 PM
I'm going to disagree because I had to stop taking Ritalin when in public and when exercising because of an increase in heartbeat. Having a panic attack at a pedestrian crossing was just a bit too much for me.

Oh and also - seizure disorder. I had never had a seizure in my life before I started Ritalin. Now it's there for life.

Maybe they should have included some autistics in the research or some people sensitive to medication, or at least went to epilepsy.com forums.

CNN has credibility? Jesus Christ...

They didn't find any health risks about taking Ritalin because they don't want to. The same reason they can't find a link between vaccines and autism.

I'm cranky today and not holding back because I haven't taken my medication because I'm going out today and don't want to have an anxiety attack. And yes I take it at a risk because I hate how I am off medication. On if, off it I'll still have seizures. It even made me a hypoglycaemic and I have had a mini stroke.

I can't drink much alcohol, sweet foods, can't have caffeine at all or too much salt. Oh and stress is bad. Can't stress.

The bias in this thread is just sickening. I think it's time you heard the other side of the story.

Kaimei
12-12-11, 08:21 PM
I'm cranky today and not holding back because I haven't taken my medication because I'm going out today and don't want to have an anxiety attack.

I'm just going to let that statement say it all, because I disagree that the article was biased to the point of being sickening, and also because your reply seems a little harsher than normal.

The size of test group is reasonable, they've controlled other contributing factors, and the article does state that there still is associated risks and patients ought to discuss it further with their doctors. It's not a Shire-based study painting a shiny, golden, zero-risk picture of stimulant meds.

As far as going to a study group with epilepsy or autism, that would make it an entirely different study. This is an 'as a general rule' study, whereas epileptic and/or autistic patients would require an entirely different focus with different factors and controls in place.

HighFunctioning
12-12-11, 10:36 PM
The article mentions something about relaxing the warnings mandated by the FDA in 2006 for certain psychostimulant products. I don't see what the problem is with the current warnings, at least based on reading the product information for Adderall XR... The warnings are directed at misuse of the medication and patients with preexisting cardiac abnormalities. If you eat a bowl of pills for breakfast, you may have some heart problems as a result!

I've posted a link to a study in the past on this subject, but I can no longer find the full text for free. If anyone wants to search for it, here it is:

TE Wilens, PG Hammerness, J Biederman, et al. Blood Pressure Changes Associated With Medication Treatment of Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. J Clin Psychiatry 2005;66:253-259

It's a meta-study, but it might lead to the original studies if anyone is really interested in this.

Kaimei
12-13-11, 02:11 AM
The article mentions something about relaxing the warnings mandated by the FDA in 2006 for certain psychostimulant products. I don't see what the problem is with the current warnings, at least based on reading the product information for Adderall XR... The warnings are directed at misuse of the medication and patients with preexisting cardiac abnormalities. If you eat a bowl of pills for breakfast, you may have some heart problems as a result!

I don't see any problems with the current labels, either - as a matter of fact, I got my Adderall prescription filled at an entirely new pharmacy today, and I read through their attached paperwork with this article/thread in mind. It wasn't particularly fear-inspiring, and there's nothing inherently wrong with 'black box' warnings, particularly since people are entirely too inclined to view their doctors as all-knowing and infallible. Pills have become so ubiquitous that people frequently need to be reminded that there is more to taking a pill than relieving an ache and treating a condition.

Lunacie
12-13-11, 09:37 AM
I'm going to disagree because I had to stop taking Ritalin when in public and when exercising because of an increase in heartbeat. Having a panic attack at a pedestrian crossing was just a bit too much for me.
<SNIP>
.

Yes, that would be too much for most people.

I would ask, though, whether you were actually having a heart problem
or a panic attack? It's my understanding that in panic attacks the heart
is not really at risk of damage. No one wants to have a panic attack,
but the study the OP linked to was about actual heart damage risk.

sarahsweets
12-13-11, 01:37 PM
I'm going to disagree because I had to stop taking Ritalin when in public and when exercising because of an increase in heartbeat. Having a panic attack at a pedestrian crossing was just a bit too much for me.

Oh and also - seizure disorder. I had never had a seizure in my life before I started Ritalin. Now it's there for life.

Maybe they should have included some autistics in the research or some people sensitive to medication, or at least went to epilepsy.com forums.

CNN has credibility? Jesus Christ...

They didn't find any health risks about taking Ritalin because they don't want to. The same reason they can't find a link between vaccines and autism.

I'm cranky today and not holding back because I haven't taken my medication because I'm going out today and don't want to have an anxiety attack. And yes I take it at a risk because I hate how I am off medication. On if, off it I'll still have seizures. It even made me a hypoglycaemic and I have had a mini stroke.

I can't drink much alcohol, sweet foods, can't have caffeine at all or too much salt. Oh and stress is bad. Can't stress.

The bias in this thread is just sickening. I think it's time you heard the other side of the story.

This article was shared and posted by CNN,CBS, ABC, FOX, MSNBC, and the AP among others so I'm pretty sure its from a good source. I'm sorry about your seizures because that is a rare but life changing side effect. The study was more to determine the overall effects of stimulants in people without cardiovascular problems or preexisting conditions. If you suffer such agitation and seizures why risk it? The "truth " about Ritalin is already available by reading the net, manufacturers website and pharmacy info when you pick up your prescription. The testing was not done on people with other disorders because it was based on adults with adhd.


I don't think there's much bias or ignorance here though. I get just as irritated as you when I hear the fear and constant controversy surrounding stimulants. In that regard the "truth "about should be that every side effect you could get is easily available to read and research before taking any medication.

StoicNate
12-13-11, 02:32 PM
It's reassuring to know that this has been studied on Adults with ADHD.
This makes it easier for me to start taking Ritalin again without anxiety about my heart.
I went to a Cardiologist about a week ago to make sure and had an EKG, everything is fine.

IF anyone is worried about their heart, I highly recommend going to a Cardiologist to check it just in case.
IT can save you some nerves and even sometimes your life.

HighFunctioning
12-13-11, 08:15 PM
Yes, that would be too much for most people.

I would ask, though, whether you were actually having a heart problem
or a panic attack? It's my understanding that in panic attacks the heart
is not really at risk of damage. No one wants to have a panic attack,
but the study the OP linked to was about actual heart damage risk.

It is normal to have a high blood pressure and/or heart rate intermittently. If you exercise, your heart rate and blood pressure will rise temporarily (while exercising). Most of the time with hypertension and tachycardia, there is little immediate risk (unless extreme) and the main concern is the cumulative effects over a period of time. So if you're having panic attacks 24/7, it's likely a problem. If it is intermittent, it's probably a non issue.

HighFunctioning
12-13-11, 08:42 PM
This article was shared and posted by CNN,CBS, ABC, FOX, MSNBC, and the AP among others so I'm pretty sure its from a good source.

It is likely from a good source. However, it is easy to be mislead by the conclusions presented in the article. It really doesn't state anything about those with or without cardiac abnormalities in terms of the study. The likely result was that there was not a statistically significant increase in risk for heart attack, stroke, etc. for a given sample of those taking ADHD medications vs. the estimated rate in the entire population. If only 0.1% of the sample that is taking ADHD meds had some cardiac abnormality, even if that entire subset of the sample died due to the cardiac effects of the drugs, it might not represent a significant difference from the normal rate due to lack of issues with the other portion.

I think it's important for everyone to understand that these findings do not contradict the possibility of isolated problems. It just means that most people will not have issues.