Mar 31, 2015

By Jane Brown

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Prompted by reports of suicidal behaviour in patients taking ADHD medications, Health Canada is issuing “stronger clearer warnings” about the risks associated with the drugs.

There are 9 medications on the warning list.  The drugs are: Adderall XR, Concerta, Biphentin, Strattera, Intuniv XR, Dexedrine, Ritalin, Ritalin SR, and Vyvanse.  They all are used for treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a term used to describe people with poor focus, impulsivity and hyperactivity.

Health Canada said in a statement that reports made by doctors, nurses, patients and drug companies involved “thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts and in a very small number of cases, completed suicide.”

Canada’s Health Agency says the benefits of the drugs still outweigh the risks, but patients’ moods, behaviours, thoughts and emotions need to be monitored, even if ADHD therapy has been discontinued.

“Side-effects are things that need to be monitored,” said Heidi Bernhardt, president of the Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada.  “It’s always a good thing to notify the public and medical professionals about this stuff as soon as there is some evidence that’s found that hasn’t been there.  Is it something to panic about?  No.”

Heidi Bernhardt will be a guest today on the New AM 740’s Goldhawk Fights Back after the 11am News.



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