A number of reports have been filed with the FDA concerning the increased risk of heart attack and heart stroke in patients who were prescribed Adderall, a strong stimulant prescribed to children and adults to treat ADHD. In February 2006, the FDA reported 51 deaths in a number of patients who were on ADHD medications, including Adderall. The increased risk for heart attack and heart stroke is similar to incidents seen in low testosterone drugs. Many people have filed lawsuits alleging that manufacturers did not do enough to warn users of the dangers involved. If you’ve been injured as a result of using these drugs, you should contact a low testosterone lawyer and see what legal recourse you have.
Adderall Side Effects Can Prove Fatal
Adderall and Adderall XR are powerful medications that contain a blend of four amphetamines, including Dexedrine and Benzedrine. Originally intended to be sold as weight-loss medication, Adderall XR was approved for children over 6 in 2001 and Adderall is prescribed for children over 3 years old. Used to treat ADHD, patients with bipolar disorder have also seen certain benefits from using the drug however medical experts are torn on the issue, many arguing that if the patient takes the drug in the manic stage of their condition, psychosis could ensue, endangering themselves and those around them.
Heart Attacks And Heart Strokes
Shire Pharmaceuticals, the distributor of Adderall, had voluntarily come forth in 2004 to report to the FDA 20 deaths by heart attack and 12 strokes which were likely caused as a result of taking the drug. 14 of the deaths and 12 of the strokes were seen in children. These incidents had occurred while taking the drug in the prescribed dosage.
Health Canada suspended sales of Adderall in 2005 following these reports. The drug however found its way back onto pharmacy shelves as an independent panel could not accurately determine the link between the usage of the drug and increased risk of cardiac arrest. Health Canada continues to closely monitor every incident related to Adderall.
In the beginning of 2006, the FDA learned of a number of fatal and non-fatal incidents that occurred during the period from 1999 to 2003. 81 deaths and 54 non-fatal cardiovascular events such as strokes and blood clotting had a possible link to the usage of ADD/ADHD drugs. Adderall was the drug with the highest number of reported deaths (24) in this period. The FDA panel concluded that a black box warning was necessary on Adderall and similar ADHD drugs.
Adderall and ADD/ADHD
The American Psychiatric Association claims that ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed disorder in children. However a growing number of health experts are critical of both the diagnosis of the condition and the prescribed drug, saying that children should not be given something as powerful as amphetamines. Some doctors are also in opposition as to what constitutes ADHD, saying that a large number of Americans have been diagnosed with a condition that was not recognized half a century ago. This, coupled with the fact that ADHD may be a life-long diagnosis, has cast doubt on whether the condition has any merit or if it’s just a ploy for pharmaceutical companies to keep people legally hooked on amphetamines.
Adderall Side Effects
The drug has a number of effects ranging from mild to life-threatening. Here is a list of some of these side effects:
- Heart attack
- Heart stroke
- High blood pressure
- Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
- Dyskinesia (tics, tremors and muscle spasms)
- Exacerbation of Tourette’s syndrome
Some symptoms related to psychiatric problems have been observed such as:
- Psychosis and mania
- Visual and/or auditory hallucinations
Plaintiffs who have sued Shire Pharmaceuticals claim that the manufacturer was negligent in putting a dangerous product on the marketplace. Similar litigation has been brought against Novartis, the makers of Ritalin, another stimulant drug, claiming that manufacturers conspired to invent the diagnosis of ADHD, a diagnosis that has yet to be accepted in other countries.
The most recent case is that of a Virginia Beach couple who filed a $2 million medical malpractice lawsuit against two psychiatrists who prescribed Adderall to their son who allegedly was not suffering from the condition necessary for such a prescription, failed to instruct him in the dangers of the drug and failed to monitor him leading to his subsequent addiction and later suicide. The NY Timeswrote a story on the incident, and after receiving many responses from parents in similar situations, the parents of the victim decided to file an Adderall lawsuit in August. The trial is scheduled for July 2015.
If you or a family member has suffered injuries from Adderall use, you may qualify for compensatory damages awarded in a possible class action lawsuit. Please get in touch with an Adderall attorney to know more about your legal options.
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