Some research suggests that older adults are prescribed more ADHD medications, which may increase their risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular problems.

In one study, it was found that older adults who started taking stimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall, or Concerta had a 40% increased risk of stroke or heart attack.

ADHD and Heart Disease: A Relationship between the Two

According to a large Swedish study, people with ADHD are twice as likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease as those who do not have ADHD. It is unclear whether ADHD patients face a greater risk than the average of heart conditions like stroke, arteriosclerosis, and arrhythmias.

Scientists don’t yet know the impact of factors like obesity, smoking, and sleep problems, as well as a family history or cardiovascular disease, on heart disease risk.

Benjamin Hirsh MD, director of preventive cardiology at Northwell Health’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital, Manhasset, New York, says: “We know having ADHD is a risk factor in and of itself for heart disease.” People with ADHD need to be treated. They may have a higher risk of heart disease if they do not get treated for ADHD or if it is not controlled well.

Why ADHD medication is a good idea

He says that if ADHD is not controlled well, people are more likely to engage in risky behaviors. Dr. Hirsh explains that these factors may include a poor diet, a lack of exercise, and financial problems, as well as interpersonal conflicts, and lowered socioeconomic status. He says that they may not adhere to a healthy diet and lifestyle. This can make them more susceptible to heart disease. Although stimulant medications like Ritalin or Concerta are commonly used to treat ADHD in adults, they are also increasingly being used “off-label”, to treat conditions such as depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders. ), too.

These medications can also be dangerous for young people. More than one-quarter of teens who have overdosed from medications for ADHD and anxiety received a prescription recently for benzodiazepines or stimulant drugs.

All Medicines Have a Risk

When you examine studies such as these, it’s important to understand that some people taking stimulants for ADHD don’t have a cardiovascular risk, says Craig Beavers Pharm.D., former chair of the American College of Cardiology Cardiovascular Team Section, and a cardiovascular pharmacy at the University of Kentucky. In those individuals, the risk of cardiovascular events is low or comparable to that in the general population. We don’t yet know if stimulants are associated with an increased cardiovascular risk.

Beaver explains that there are always risks and side effects associated with any medication. He says that the studies on cardiovascular patients had some limitations. “While it may appear that the risk is not different, we can’t say this until a specific study has been conducted to answer the question.”

A recent review on stimulant medications published in JAMA Network Open shows that patients of any age are not at increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, or other cardiovascular conditions.

This research, which included a systematic review, meta-analysis, and more than 3.9 million participants, concluded: “ADHD medication usage was not statistically significantly associated with any CVD (cardiovascular diseases) in children and adolescents, as well as young and middle-aged adults, older adults and overall.”

ADHD medication improves symptoms in many

There are two types of ADHD medication: stimulants, and non-stimulants. The stimulants are prescribed the most and are first-line drugs. These medications increase the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, two brain chemicals that improve communication between the various parts of the body and the brain.

Although it may sound contradictory, stimulants help the ADHD brain focus/pay more attention by stimulating “brakes” that stop the thoughts from going non-stop. These stimulants include amphetamines (like Adderall) and methylphenidates (like Ritalin).

Vyvanse, the brand name for a prescription medication prescribed to treat ADHD and binge eating disorders in adults and children, is also available as a generic drug. Wellbutrin is the brand name of the antidepressant bupropion. It is sometimes prescribed for ADHD symptoms.

Non-stimulant medicines may be prescribed for children and adults who may not respond well to stimulants. These medications work by increasing norepinephrine in the brain, a neurotransmitter. This can improve attention. Atomextine, Guanfacine (Intuniv or Tenex), and Clonidine (Kapvay) are among the non-stimulants.

If You Have ADHD and a Heart Problem

If you have a heart problem, your doctor will want to closely monitor you if you are taking stimulant medication for ADHD. Beavers suggests that your doctor might prescribe a non-stimulant instead of a stimulant.

Beavers says, “It’s about knowing the risks and benefits and what we can do to minimize these risks.” If you’re on stimulants, one solution is to take the smallest dose possible. Your doctor may also want to suggest other treatment options (lifestyle modifications, therapy, etc.). “There are supplements that can be used to lower the doses.”

Dr. Hirsh states that cognitive behavioral therapy, or other types of therapies, could be the first step to managing ADHD symptoms.

Dr. Hirsch advises that individuals who take stimulant medication for ADHD should have a physical examination every year, and they should be tested for high blood pressure. He also recommends that the patient undergo an annual EKG, if their doctor feels it is necessary. We can detect things like prolonged QT, which is dangerous. A prolonged QT syndrome causes arrhythmias, (fast and chaotic beats).

Tell your doctor if you take any other medication in addition to stimulants. Dr. Hirsch states that certain medications can be harmful when taken with stimulants. These include antibiotics such as azithromycin or ciprofloxacin.

You should be aware that your risk of developing health issues is greatest in the month following the start of treatment for ADHD. Beavers says that when you change the dosage or start a new stimulant, you may experience changes in blood pressure or heart rate. Over time, the blood pressure and heart rate should adjust. This is why risk is greater in the first month of taking a new drug. Read more: buy adderall online

Hypertension and More

Beavers says that if the person taking stimulant medication also has hypertension, a medication to reduce it could be prescribed. He explains that the person on stimulant medication could continue to take it if they were aggressive in managing their hypertension.

For someone with ADHD who also has heart disease and could benefit from stimulant medication, the strategy for managing heart problems varies. Beavers says that it depends on the patient and the management options available. It depends on what happened to the heart. The medication can be changed or stopped if the patient has an arrhythmia.

Do not forget to tell your doctor about your medical history, even if you don’t have heart problems. Dr. Hirsch warns that some people have heart problems but are unaware of them. You may need to have a heart screening depending on your family history, your risk factors, and other factors.

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