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?"

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).

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 clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as 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.
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