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“This Is a Turning Point in ADHD Research — and Treatment”

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December 3, 2022Over the years, persistent concerns by clinicians about the safety of ADHD medications have hampered treatment, particularly in middle-aged and older adults.

The notion that ADHD stimulants were intrinsically toxic to the cardiovascular system, despite reliable evidence to the contrary, has now been debunked.A new meta-analysis of studies from the last 15 years, involving more than 3.9 million participants, concluded that “ADHD medication use was not statistically significantly associated with the risk of any CVD (cardiovascular disease) among children and adolescents, young and middle-aged adults, older adults, or overall.” The analysis, published in JAMA Network Open, was the most comprehensive to date on the association between ADHD medication and CVD risk.1The study found:[Download: ADHD Medications – Comparison Chart of Stimulants & Nonstimulants]Moreover, there was no increased risk of cardiovascular disease, regardless of the type of CVD the patient had when starting the ADHD stimulant, or that developed while they were taking ADHD medications.

These include:Now that we know fears over an elevated risk of medication complications were unfounded, clinicians who either refused to consider prescribing stimulant medications or who, more commonly, discontinued prescribing the first-line stimulant medications when their patients reached older ages, can move forward by providing necessary and appropriate treatment.This study is a turning point in ADHD research.

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