Despite vested interests in the mental health industry continuously downplaying the documented risks of ADHD drugs, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally agreed that the public has the right to know the drugs' deadly risks.
The FDA has ordered that the labeling of ADHD drugs include a warning that the drugs can cause suppression of growth, psychosis, aggression and serious cardiovascular side effects. The warnings came in the wake of an international grassroots movement of doctors, medical personnel, human rights activists, and parents who have long fought for full disclosure of the documented risks of the drugs by testifying before state and federal legislators and drug regulatory agencies, as well as speaking out in the national media.
In it's August 22 article, "FDA Orders Strong Warning on Stimulants," the New York Times reports that this recent warning "significantly strengthen[s] the risk information already on these drugs. The warnings state in part, 'Sudden deaths, strokes and myocardial infarction have been reported in adults taking stimulant drugs at usual doses.'" These warnings caution about an increased risk of strokes and heart attacks and "come after scattered reports of children dropping dead suddenly while taking the drugs."
Steven Nissen, president of the American College of Cardiology and chairman of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic is quoted in the article: "It's a very strong warning. It's appropriately worded. It basically lets physicians and patients know that these drugs to have serious cardiovascular side effects."
In February, an FDA advisory committee strongly recommended that the FDA require all ADHD drugs come with a black box warning, the FDA's strictest warning, exposing the risk of drug-induced heart attack, stroke and sudden death. In March, a different committee convened and recommended additional warnings about psychological side effects.
Earlier this year, Australia launched an urgent investigation into the safety of ADHD drugs following 400 adverse reactions involving children as young as three. The United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child reported in September 2005 that it was concerned that ADHD and ADD "are being misdiagnosed and therefore psycho-stimulant drugs are being over-prescribed, despite the growing evidence of the harmful effects of these drugs." In the last year alone, there have been ten international warnings that ADHD drugs can cause suicide, psychosis, hallucinations and mania. Four of these warnings specifically address the potentially fatal cardiovascular risks of ADHD drugs.
12 international warnings have been issued on the dangers of antidepressants, which include suicide, addiction, homicidal ideation, liver damage and heart attacks. Five of these international warnings on antidepressants warn about the risks to pregnant women and their newborn babies. They show the risks of taking antidepressants during pregnancy are drug dependence for the mother as well as birth defects, heart malformation or a fatal lung condition in the newborn.
To see more about the deadly effects of psychiatric drugs prescribed to millions of children, read the Report on the Escalating International Warnings on Psychiatric Drugs, published by the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights, a psychiatric watchdog group established by the Church of Scientology.