- Long-term use of ADHD medication is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, particularly hypertension and arterial disease, according to a 14-year follow-up study.
- Randomized clinical trials, which typically evaluate short-term effects of ADHD medications, may not capture the potential cardiovascular risks associated with prolonged use. Meta-analyses indicate a slight increase in heart rate and blood pressure with ADHD medications.
- About half of individuals use ADHD medication for over 5 years, but there is limited information on how the cardiovascular risk varies based on factors such as the type of cardiovascular disease, type of ADHD medication, age, and sex.
- The study, conducted in Sweden, included over 278,000 participants aged 6 – 64 years old and found that each 1-year increase in the use of ADHD medication was associated with a 4% increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Clinicians are advised to carefully weigh the potential benefits and risks of long-term ADHD medication use, especially among those receiving higher doses, and to consistently monitor patients for signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease throughout the course of treatment.