Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Long-Term Stimulant Use Doesn't Cause Blood-Pressure Spike

With stimulant medications an increasingly popular treatment for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), concerns have been raised about whether their use over the long term will raise a child's risk of developing hypertension. Benedetto Vitiello, M.D., chief of the Child and Adolescent Treatment and Preventive Intervention Research Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health, led a 10-year study to assess whether such a risk exists. In a report in the American Journal of Psychiatry, he and his colleagues reported that they did not find a link between long-term stimulant use for ADHD and elevated blood pressure in the hypertensive or prehypertensive range. They did, however, find that greater cumulative stimulant use was linked to a higher heart rate at years 3 and 8 of the 10-year study.

Read more about this study in the current issue of Psychiatric News here, and read the results of a study that assessed cardiovascular safety of methylphenidate use in adults here

(image: Kamira/Shutterstock.com)