ECG Not Necessary for Children on ADHD Meds

The American Academy of Pediatrics concludes the heart screening test is not mandatory before taking medication

Friday August 1st - 4:57pm

Despite an earlier suggestion from the American Heart Association, children and teens do not need an electrocardiogram (ECG) before taking ADHD stimulant medications like Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta, reports the American Academy of Pediatrics, in the August edition of Pediatrics.

The American Heart Association (AHA), the largest voluntary organization dedicated to heart disease and stroke in the U.S., posted its recommendation online in April, in response to a study showing that stimulant medications used to treat ADHD can raise blood pressure and heart rate. However, serious complications and deaths from these medications are extremely rare.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a non-profit organization composed of 60,000 pediatricians, worried that the AHA’s advice would result in unnecessary exams and could potentially prevent children from receiving medication.

In response, the AHA has lessened its stance. Both the AAP and the AHA still stress the importance of a complete medical exam before taking stimulant medication, but for most children, an ECG does not need to be part of that.

Go to http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/122/2/451 to learn more.

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