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Today many doctors are prescribing drugs to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. In August 2006 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued stronger warnings for these drugs, especially with regard to amphetamine-containing ADHD drugs and the possibility of sudden death or serious cardiovascular problems.

The most serious change applies to amphetamine-containing ADHD drugs. There are two types of stimulant drugs used to treat ADHD: methylphenidates (CONCERTA, DAYTRANA, [dexmethylphenidate] FOCALIN, METADATE, METHYLIN, RITALIN) and amphetamines (ADDERALL, [detroamphetamine] DEXEDRINE).

The FDA now requires the manufacturers of amphentamine-containing ADHD drugs to include a black box warning, which is found in a drug’s professional product label (also known as a package insert), informing patients about the possibility of sudden death and serious cardiovascular problems associated with these drugs.

Parents should be sure to do all of their research and make informed decisions before putting their children on these possibly detrimental or defective drugs.

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