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Celebrity Dancer, Karina Smirnoff, Speaks Out for the First Time on How ADHD Has Impacted Her Life

NEW YORK, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In recognition of national ADHD Awareness Day, "Dancing with the Stars" performer and professional dancer, Karina Smirnoff, is adding her voice to the growing attention about adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by sharing her personal experiences for the first time and advocating for others to seek evaluation and appropriate treatment. Karina is partnering with Shire plc (LSE: SHP, Nasdaq: SHPGY), the global specialty biopharmaceutical company and a leader in ADHD treatment, in an effort to highlight the impact of ADHD on adults at work, at home, and in social settings, and to educate people that ADHD symptom management is possible.

"As a professional dancer, I've become known for my moves and my career accomplishments, but most people don't know about another part of my life -- I'm an adult with ADHD," said Karina Smirnoff, performer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."

Karina has struggled with the ADHD symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, throughout her life. She was diagnosed after a friend recognized how her symptoms were impacting her life, and urged her to see a doctor. With the hope that other adults with ADHD will benefit from her story, she is speaking out about her experiences with ADHD to reinforce that ADHD is a real, treatable medical disorder.

"My parents tried anything and everything just to address my inattention and provide an outlet for my hyperactivity," said Karina. "They enrolled me in activities that held my interest like figure skating, ballet, gymnastics, and playing the piano. Throughout my life, I have found ways to cope with my symptoms, because I thought they were just part of who I am."

"After speaking with my doctor and getting diagnosed with ADHD, I realized that having tools -- such as medication and organizational strategies -- would help manage my symptoms. In addition to recommending strategies, such as taking breaks during rehearsals, my doctor prescribed Vyvanse((R)) (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) Capsules CII, as part of my ADHD treatment plan. Like most adults, my schedule is very busy. My day is filled with 10-hour dance rehearsals for my television show, teaching choreography, dancing in shows, and constant travel. With improvement in my ADHD symptoms, I can focus on finishing what I start." To learn more about Karina's story, visit

"My doctor did let me know about the possible side effects of Vyvanse, including possible heart problems, as well as more commonly associated side effects including decreased appetite, difficulty falling asleep, and dry mouth," said Karina. "Talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Because everyone is different, work with your doctor to find a treatment plan, which may include educational approaches, psychological or behavioral modification, and/or medication, that may be right for you."

In a clinical study in adults with ADHD, Vyvanse significantly improved symptoms of inattention (eg, lack of focus), hyperactivity, and impulsivity. In another clinical study, once-daily Vyvanse provided consistent efficacy throughout the day at work, through home and family time, and even at 14 hours after taking. When taken at 7 am, Vyvanse was shown to be effective 2 hours after taking, and effectiveness continued until 9 pm.

ADHD Can Affect Adults' Daily Lives

Although many people tend to think of ADHD as a childhood disorder, up to 65 percent of children with ADHD may still exhibit symptoms into adulthood. Based on a survey of adults aged 18 to 44, an estimated 4.4 percent of adults have ADHD. When you consider the full US population aged 18 and over, this adds up to almost 10 million adults. While the symptoms of ADHD in children and adults may be the same, the impact on their lives and how others perceive these symptoms may be different. Adults sometimes develop strategies to cope with their ADHD symptoms, but each day of an adult's life brings new duties and challenges which may eventually overwhelm those strategies, and new options may be needed.

"It's great to see adults like Karina openly discuss their experiences with ADHD to lend increased visibility to the impact of the disorder on adults and the importance of effective treatment," said Theresa Cerulli, MD, board certified psychiatrist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and Hallmark Health's Lawrence Memorial Hospital. "Because the ADHD symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity may impact adults throughout their day at work, at home, and in social settings, long-acting medication may be important for adults with ADHD."

Vyvanse may not be right for everyone. Your doctor should check you carefully for any heart problems and you should tell the doctor about any mental problems you may have before starting treatment.

To learn more about ADHD in adults, visit

Additional information about Vyvanse and Full Prescribing Information, including the Medication Guide, are available at


Vyvanse is indicated for the treatment of ADHD. Efficacy based on two controlled trials in children aged 6 to 12 and one controlled trial in adults.

Tell the doctor about any heart conditions, including structural abnormalities, that you, your child, or a family member, may have. Inform the doctor immediately if you or your child develops symptoms that suggest heart problems, such as chest pain or fainting.

Vyvanse should not be taken if you or your child has advanced disease of the blood vessels (arteriosclerosis); symptomatic heart disease; moderate to severe high blood pressure; overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism); known allergy or unusual reactions to drugs called sympathomimetic amines (for example, pseudoephedrine); seizures; glaucoma; a history of problems with alcohol or drugs; agitated states; taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) within the last 14 days.

Tell the doctor before taking Vyvanse if you or your child is being treated for or has symptoms of depression (sadness, worthlessness, or hopelessness) or bipolar disorder; has abnormal thought or visions, hears abnormal sounds, or has been diagnosed with psychosis; has had seizures or abnormal EEGs; has or has had high blood pressure; exhibits aggressive behavior or hostility. Tell the doctor immediately if you or your child develops any of these conditions or symptoms while taking Vyvanse.

Abuse of amphetamines may lead to dependence. Misuse of amphetamine may cause sudden death and serious cardiovascular adverse events. These events have also been reported rarely with amphetamine use.

Talk to your health care provider if your child experiences slowing of growth (height and weight). Children should have their height and weight checked periodically while taking Vyvanse. Your health care provider may stop Vyvanse treatment if a problem is found during these check-ups.

Vyvanse was generally well tolerated in clinical studies. The most common side effects reported in studies of Vyvanse were: children - decreased appetite, difficulty falling asleep, stomachache, and irritability; adult - decreased appetite, difficulty falling asleep, and dry mouth.

Aggression, new abnormal thoughts/behaviors, mania, growth suppression, worsening of motion or verbal tics, and Tourette's syndrome have been associated with use of drugs of this type. Tell the doctor if you or your child has blurred vision while taking Vyvanse.

About ADHD

ADHD is one of the most common psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. Worldwide prevalence of ADHD is estimated at 5.3 percent (with large variability), according to a comprehensive systematic review of this topic published in 2007 in the American Journal of Psychiatry. In the United States, approximately 7.8 percent of all school-aged children, or about 4.4 million children aged 4 to 17 years, have been diagnosed with ADHD at some point in their lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The disorder is also estimated to affect 4.4 percent of US adults aged 18 to 44 based on results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. When this percentage is extrapolated to the full US population aged 18 and over, almost 10 million adults are believed to have ADHD.

ADHD is a psychiatric behavioral disorder that manifests as a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development. The specific etiology of ADHD is unknown and there is no single diagnostic test for this syndrome. Adequate diagnosis requires the use of medical and special psychological, educational, and social resources, utilizing diagnostic criteria such as Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV((R))) or International Classification of Diseases 10 (ICD-10).

Although there is no cure for ADHD, there are accepted treatments that specifically target its symptoms. Standard treatments include educational approaches, psychological or behavioral modification, and/or medication.( )


Shire's strategic goal is to become the leading specialty biopharmaceutical company that focuses on meeting the needs of the specialist physician. Shire focuses its business on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), human genetic therapies (HGT) and gastrointestinal (GI) diseases as well as opportunities in other therapeutic areas to the extent they arise through acquisitions. Shire's in-licensing, merger and acquisition efforts are focused on products in specialist markets with strong intellectual property protection and global rights. Shire believes that a carefully selected and balanced portfolio of products with strategically aligned and relatively small-scale sales forces will deliver strong results.

For further information on Shire, please visit the Company's Web site:


Statements included herein that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties and are subject to change at any time. In the event such risks or uncertainties materialize, the Company's results could be materially adversely affected. The risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks associated with: the inherent uncertainty of research, development, approval, reimbursement, manufacturing and commercialization of the Company's Specialty Pharmaceutical and Human Genetic Therapies products, as well as the ability to secure and integrate new products for commercialization and/or development; government regulation of the Company's products; the Company's ability to manufacture its products in sufficient quantities to meet demand; the impact of competitive therapies on the Company's products; the Company's ability to register, maintain and enforce patents and other intellectual property rights relating to its products; the Company's ability to obtain and maintain government and other third-party reimbursement for its products; and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SOURCE Shire plc
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