Tags: Heart Disease | heart | ritalin | pay attention

Pay Attention to What Ritalin Is Doing to Your Heart

By    |   Thursday, 28 Jul 2016 01:52 AM

As in art, science is discovering what's good for the brain may not be so great for the heart.

Ritalin, the medication often given to school-age children with behavioral difficulties, has been prescribed to treat hyperactivity, attention disorders, and narcolepsy, but studies are finding increased heart risks associated with Ritalin, even in children.

Researchers found, according to a study published in The BMJ, that children had an increased risk of heart attack between 8 and 56 days after using methylphenidate, the generic name for Ritalin, .

ALERT: 5 Signs Your Heart Is In Trouble

However, The Huffington Post reported the results of the study didn’t reach statistical significance. The risk of cardiovascular events in children is small and an additional risk found in the study would also be small overall. About 3.5 million children take Ritalin or similar drugs.

Ritalin is used as treatment for attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conditions related to inattentiveness, hyperactivity, or impulsivity.

Ritalin stimulates the central nervous system by altering chemicals in the brain and nerves that could cause hyperactivity, according to Drugs.com.

Ritalin has been associated with incidences of increased blood pressure and heart rate, heart attack and stroke in adults, and sudden death for people with heart problems or heart defects, Everyday Health reported.

URGENT: Coronary Heart Disease: 5 Tips to Reduce Your Risk

Before Ritalin is prescribed to patients, they or their guardians should tell the doctor if they have heart problems, angina, high blood pressure, or a family history of heart disorders.

Ritalin is a stimulant medication, so it could aggravate anxiety or have adverse effects on people who take certain antidepressants. The Food and Drug Administration has advised that children who are anxious, tense, or agitated should not take Ritalin.

Parents should tell doctors about their child’s medical history, including heart defects or high blood pressure, circulation problems, seizures, tics or Tourette’s syndrome. Doctors should also be informed about all usage of antidepressants, cold or allergy medicine, or seizure medications.

Common side effects of Ritalin include headache, nervousness, nausea, stomach problems, decreased appetite, and insomnia. However, less common but serious side effects include irregular heartbeat, heart palpitations, blood pressure changes, chest pain, and seizures. A doctor should be notified if these side effects occur.

Ritalin could interact with medications for heart-related disorders, including drugs for high blood pressure and blood thinners.

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As in art, science is discovering what's good for the brain may not be so great for the heart. While Ritalin is a medication known to treat hyperactivity, attention disorders, and narcolepsy, studies are finding increased heart risks associated with Ritalin, even in children.
heart, ritalin, pay attention
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2016-52-28
Thursday, 28 Jul 2016 01:52 AM
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