Are Medicated People with ADHD at Risk for Heart Problems?

by | Jan 9, 2012

An alarming report was issued by the FDA in 2007 regarding people with ADHD and possible cardiovascular risks. In February of 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration released a report to all drug manufacturers that were involved in the production of medication to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADD). Can these psychiatric drugs cause heart problems? According to this report, the answer is most definitely yes. People with ADHD and parents of young children given this diagnosis can research this for themselves.

Dr. Steven Galson, MD, stated emphatically that many ADHD drugs carry serious risks. People with ADHD who are being medicated with the following drugs should be especially wary:

  • Ritalin (Tablets, sustained release and extended release)
  • Methylin (Oral and chewable)
  • Metadate (Extended release)
  • Adderall (Tablets and extended release)
  • Concerta (Extended release)
  • Dexedrine Spansule Capsules and tablets
  • Focaline (Tablets and extended release)
  • Daytrana (Transdermal system)
  • Straterra capsules

The FDA directed the producers of all pharmaceuticals treating people with ADHD to develop Patient Medication Guides. These guides were to warn of both adverse psychiatric symptoms and cardiovascular risks associated with the drugs.
The FDA reviewed information detailing serious cardiovascular events when patients took the prescribed dose of the ADHD drugs. Especially disturbing were reports of people with ADHD dying suddenly while on these medications. These people already had serious heart defects or problems, thus the powerful drugs predisposed them to a fatal event.
One of the common side effects listed for methylphenidate drugs such as ritalin is “heart palpitations.” And abuse by people with ADHD of this drug has resulted in a sudden heart attack, even in people who have no symptoms of heart disease.
In 2011 it was widely reported that there actually was no heart risk for those on these drugs. However, there is no denial from Medical Sources that stimulant medication such as Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta raise blood pressure and heart rate, a contributing factor to cardiovascular trouble. And the FDA still receives reports of heart problems in people with ADHD taking these stimulant drugs.
The parents of Mathew Smith have no question concerning what stole the life of their young son at the age of 14. According to the pathologist who performed the autopsy, Mathew’s heart had small vessel damage caused by this drug. And one of the medical examiners stated that Mathew’s heart weight was 402 grams, compared to the normal 350 grams of a full grown man. Prior to his diagnosis of having ADHD, Mathew had no heart defect or disease.
His certificate of death states “Death caused from Long Term Use of Methylphenidate, Ritalin.”
This tragic story began when Mathew was in the first grade, and evaluated by his school as having ADHD. The school social worker threatened his parents with a charge of neglect by Child Protective Services if they refused to take him to a doctor and follow any advice to place their child on Ritalin. Scared by the thought of Child Protective Services taking away their kids, the parents relented.
After observing Mathew doing a pencil twirling trick, the doctor diagnosed him with ADHD and placed him on the drug. At no time were the Smiths informed of the possibly dangerous side effects, the controversy over the validity of the ADHD diagnosis or of the number of children who had experienced dangerous or deadly effects while on Ritalin.
The tragedy of their loss has inspired these parents to speak out. They are joining the thousands of voices worldwide in spreading the truth concerning the damage both Psychiatrists and pharmaceutical industries are creating due to their greed for power and money.


  1. Jason

    Not worth it before tying all alternatives. According to doctors, I as perfectly healthy when the ADHD medicine put me in the hospital on November 30, 2018 with a $13,000 hospital bill, one of many bills that day.

  2. Kristina Beaton

    concerta gave me quality of life- I finally got my own housing, began my career in a studio and can focus on my personal projects on the side.
    My heart races but I won’t stop taking it- I rather die than go back to the fog I had before, no home, no job and thoughts that I couldn’t string together. Hope people take it easy and use this medication carefully. It’s worth it for me anyway.


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