Children with congenital heart disease are at high risk for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Fears about cardiovascular side effects, including sudden death, limit the use of stimulant medications. A recent study has revealed that stimulant medicines are safe and effective for children with ADHD and congenital heart disease.
Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center found no increased risk for death or changes in cardiac vital signs, such as blood pressure or heart rate, even for children with ADHD and severe heart conditions. The team also found that when treated with stimulant medications, patients had significant improvements in ADHD symptoms as measured by standardized rating scales.
Senior author Julia Anixt said, "This study indicates that stimulants are both effective and safe when prescribed with appropriate monitoring and in collaboration with the patient's cardiologist."
The study was presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics in Las Vegas.