Pediatric Methylphenidate (Ritalin) May Raise Risk of Cardiac Arrhythmia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nicole Pratt PhD Senior Research Fellow Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre Sansom Institute, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences University of South Australia GPO Box 2471, Adelaide 5001 South Australia

Dr. Nicole Pratt

Nicole Pratt PhD
Senior Research Fellow
Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre
Sansom Institute, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences
University of South Australia
Adelaide South Australia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Pratt: The cardiac safety of methylphenidate has been debated. This study aimed to measure the risk of cardiac events in a large population of children treated with these medicines. We found that there was a significantly raised risk of arrhythmia in time periods when children were treated with methylphenidate compared to time periods when they were not. While the relative risk of cardiac events was significant the absolute risk is likely to be low as cardiac events are rare in children.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Dr. Pratt: While the absolute risk of cardiac events is likely to be low clinicians and parents should carefully consider the risk benefit balance of pharmacological treatment for ADHD. Where treatment is deemed necessary children should be carefully monitored.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Pratt: It will be important to replicate these findings in other populations and to understand the risk factors for children who experience these side effects. This information will help clinicians and parents weigh up the risks against the benefits of treatment particularly in mild cases of ADHD.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dr. Pratt: Parents should not stop the medicine, but discuss this study and their concerns with their doctor or paediatrician.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Shin Ju-Young, Roughead Elizabeth E, Park Byung-Joo, Pratt Nicole L. Cardiovascular safety of methylphenidate among children and young people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): nationwide self controlled case series study

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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