Habel's group found, however, that these drugs were not associated with an increased risk for any of these events. In addition, no specific drug or the length of time a drug was taken was linked to an increased risk of heart attack, sudden cardiac death or stroke, they noted.
Furthermore, a history of heart disease and age did not increase the risk among ADHD drug users, the researchers added. They also found that the rate of events was almost the same while using an ADHD drug and in the year after stopping the medication.
Heart disease was about the same or slightly higher among those taking ADHD drugs than among those not taking these medications, Habel's team noted.
"Because they can increase heart rate and blood pressure in children and adults, there have been concerns about the cardiovascular safety of stimulants and other medications used primarily to treat ADHD," Habel explained. "Relatively few large safety studies have been conducted, especially in adults. Our findings indicate that these medications do not markedly increase the risk of serious cardiovascular events in young and middle-aged adults."
Dr. Gregg Fonarow said that "in 2006, the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee of the FDA suggested there may be substantial cardiovascular risks with stimulant medications used to treat ADHD and recommended a 'black box' warning. This resulted in substantial concern and debate about the benefits and potential cardiovascular risks of this frequently used therapy."
"While these results are reassuring, additional studies of the long-term safety of these medications may be warranted," said Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
In November, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine also found no increased risk of cardiovascular problems with these drugs. That study looked at data on 1.
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