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Doing an ECG first before kids get ADHD drugs is the preferred course of treatment, say AAP and AHA.
Following confusion over a statement released in April 2008 about the appropriate use of an electrocardiogram (ECG) in the cardiovascular evaluation and monitoring of children receiving medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have issued a joint advisory to clarify the recommendations. Acquiring an ECG prior to beginning treatment for ADHD is not mandatory, but is reasonable for a physician to consider as part of the evaluation of children being considered for stimulant therapy, say the groups. Treatment should not be withheld, however, because an ECG is not performed. The remainder of the clarifications are also available online.