There has been much controversy over the years about ADHD medications and potential cardiovascular risks. So the FDA and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality funded a large study on ADHD and potential cardiovascular side effects in both children and adults to examine the evidence. The good news is “This large study showed no evidence that current use of an ADHD drug was associated with an increased risk of serious cardiovascular events” as per the published results in the New England Journal of Medicine, November 17th, 2011 print edition.
The study period was from 1986-2005 and included data from over 1.2 million children and young adults. No increased risk was found for those patients taking ADHD medications. In fact the heart risks for current users of ADHD medications were slightly lower than the risk for non-medication users or for those who had taken medication previously.
Bottom line is that the risk of cardiovascular problems exists at the same rate whether you take ADHD medications or not. If you or your child are considering treatment, this large government funded ADHD medication study can hopefully put your mind at ease that the risks, at least for heart side effects or stroke, are minimal.
See NEJM.ORG for the online article (10.1056/NEJMoa1110212) published Nov 1st, 2011.