FDA Recommends Continuing Medication Based on Limitations on New Study
ADHD medications are once again in the news this week. A study released this week indicated an association between stimulant medications and sudden death. Even so, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that children should not stop taking the medication.
An article, "FDA Cites Limitations of ADHD Drug Study", [2009, June 16, Jared Favole, The Wall Street Journal] explains that the FDA said, "There isn't enough evidence to conclude the drugs are dangerous." The FDA further recommends that people continue to take their medication.
The study looked at two separate groups of children who died between 1985 and 1996. The first group of 564 was healthy children who suddenly died. The second group of 564 children died in motor vehicle accidents. In the first group, 10 of the children were taking stimulant medication. In the second group of children, only 2 were taking stimulant medication.
One of the problems with the study is that so few of the children in the study were taking stimulant medications.
There have been many debates over the years concerning the use of stimulant medications to treat ADHD. In March 2009, a different study raised questions concerning the long-term effectiveness of stimulant use to manage ADHD symptoms. Some medical researchers believe the data in this study show that stimulant medication works short-term but is not effective as a long-term treatment. Other researchers indicate the study shows the need for specific, individual treatment plans and that intensive treatment should continue, rather than be a part of initial treatment.
Other past studies have shown stimulant medication use in adults with ADHD can help to improve sleep and that the risk of substance abuse in teens may be decreased.
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