New agency study to look at cardiovascular risk of ADHD drugs

September 20, 2007

Study from AHRQ and FDA will examine cardiovascular risks of ADHD drugs.

A collaboration between the FDA and AHRQ to examine the potential cardiovascular risks associated with the medications used to treat ADHD will soon be under way. According to the two agencies, the new study will be the largest ever to look at the issue and will include data from 500,000 children and adults who have taken the drugs. Up until now, case reports have described adverse cardiovascular events in patients with underlying risk factors. Now, however, the agencies would like to see whether increases in heart rate and blood pressure associated with the drugs have the potential to increase cardiac risk, possibly leading to stroke, myocardial infarction, and even death. The analysis will take about two years to complete and will be coordinated by Vanderbilt University researchers on contract through AHRQ's Effective Health Care program. Drugs used to treat ADHD will be evaluated as a whole as well as by each class individually.

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