Ask the Experts

Stimulant Drug Interactions

“My 78-year-old father was just diagnosed with ADHD. 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 ADHD at age 78. I would question the diagnosis.

ADHD 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 ADHD; 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.

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