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3,000 Annual ER Visits Related to ADHD Meds

Over 3,000 people go to hospital emergency rooms each year because of accidental overdoses of medications prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, according to a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Parents could prevent two-thirds of these emergencies by simply locking away the medications, which include Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, and other stimulants. About five million Americans take such drugs, and most (3.3 million) are under 19 years old.

Some of the emergencies were serious. One in five patients were hospitalized, one in five needed stomach pumping, and one in seven had heart problems. Common symptoms included rashes, spasms, muscle weakness, and abdominal pain.

This was the first study of ER visits and ADHD drugs. A prior study found that 25 people died between 1999 and 2003 from reactions to these common drugs, and 54 others developed heart problems.

This new study appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Labels: medications, hospitals

Posted By: Aspen Education Group