ADD Medication Sends 3,000 a Year to Emergency Room

Stimulant overdoses and adverse reactions responsible for majority of visits.

Tuesday August 1st - 12:00am

Stimulant medications used to treat AD/HD are responsible for an estimated 3,000 emergency room visits per year, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In a letter to the editor in the May 25 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, CDC epidemiologist Adam L. Cohen, M.D., wrote that the visits are triggered primarily by accidental overdoses of the meds or by adverse reactions to them, and that 14 percent of the visits involved cardiovascular problems, ranging from chest pain to high blood pressure to stroke.

Four out of five of the visits involved children. One-third of the patients seeking emergency treatment had accidentally taken drugs not prescribed to them. The CDC researchers did not include emergencies involving people who intentionally abused the drugs, whether prescribed or not.

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