Adderall may cause psychological side effects and that may lead to sudden death
On August 21, 2006 GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Shire Plc said they strengthened warnings that the attention-deficit drug, Adderall may cause psychological side effects and that misuse may lead to sudden death from heart attacks and strokes.
In 2005, Health Canada (the equivalent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) banned Adderall after reviewing reports linking Adderall XR to 20 fatalities, 14 of whom were children, and a dozen strokes. Canadian health officials noted that none of the adverse reactions was caused by overdose or misuse of the medication. None of the deaths or strokes occurred in Canada, but the organization reported receiving its own reports of adverse reactions among Adderall XR patients ranging from minor skin rashes to convulsions.
The FDA reviewed the same side effect reports as Canadian health regulators and decided not to ban Adderall sales. At that time a Shire spokesperson said that the company remained confident in the safety of Adderall.
U.S. sales of Adderall reached $140 million for the third quarter of 2004, or approaching $600 million on an annual basis, with about 700,000 people taking Adderall XR and 300,000 using the immediate-release form, known simply as Adderall. The FDA approved Adderall XR in October 2001. Side effects included anorexia, insomnia, abdominal pain, emotional liability, and nervousness. Yet Shire ranked these as mild.
Other Adderall side effects may include:
- Heart palpitations, racing heart, elevated blood pressure, as well as, isolated reports of heart disease associated with chronic amphetamine use.
- Psychotic episodes over stimulation, restlessness, dizziness, euphoria, depression, loss of motor control, tremor, headache, exacerbation of motor and speech problems, including Tourette’s syndrome
- Dryness of the mouth, unpleasant taste, diarrhea, constipation, other gastrointestinal disturbances, weight loss, and hives
- Impotence and changes in libido
Adderall XR (time release) is the top-selling treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Five million Americans use ADHD drugs and 3.3 million of them are under 19 years old.
In two studies, Adderall was found to dramatically reduce hyperactivity and impulsiveness in children with ADHD. ADHD is considered as the most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorder among school age children. The medication was found to help focus, work, and learn better. The extended-release form of the medication, Adderall XR, was considered a breakthrough since one capsule could be taken in the morning without a second dose needed during the school day.
Adderall contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which are stimulants. Adderall is used to:
- Improve a patient's attention span
- Increase ability to follow directions
- Decrease distractibility among children ages three and older
- Decrease impulsivity, stubbornness, and aggression
An Adderall advantage is its effectiveness for most patients when taken once or twice a day making it convenient for patients, parents, and caregivers. Adderall may help some patients for whom other medications such as Ritalin have not been effective. The effects of Adderall can be felt after a few doses. However, to achieve the full effect and maximum benefit, it may require adjusting dosages and up to three or four weeks of use.
Have you or a loved one suffered heart palpitations, heart disease, stroke, or sudden death from taking Adderall? Talk to us. An Adderall lawsuit might be in your near future.