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Stimulant Drug Interactions
"My 78-year-old father was just diagnosed with AD/HD. He’s been treated for high cholesterol and high blood pressure — is it safe for him to take a stimulant?"
It is very unusual for someone to be diagnosed with AD/HD at age 78. I would question the diagnosis.
AD/HD is a lifelong condition, so I wonder why no one noticed your father’s symptoms until now. If his hyperactivity, inattention, or impulsivity is a recent development, the behavior probably isn’t caused by AD/HD; it’s important that his physician figure out what is causing it.
If you’re confident in the diagnosis, I share your concern about the medication. Because your father has high blood pressure, I would not be comfortable prescribing either a stimulant or a nonstimulant.
Larry Silver, M.D., is the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities. He is also a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C.