Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood. It is typically diagnosed in childhood, often lasting into adulthood. People who are diagnosed with ADHD have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors, and may be overly active.
While these attributes are normal for all children, those with ADHD do not just grow out of the behaviors. The behaviors may manifest at school, home, or while playing with friends. Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder may spend a lot of time daydreaming, be easily distracted, talk too much, not be able to play quietly, have difficulty taking turns, interrupting, or squirm or fidget a lot. These issues can cause a major disruption in their lives.
ADHD is typically treated with a combination of behavior therapy and medication, in addition to close monitoring throughout the treatment process. The most common type of medication prescribed to patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a stimulant. Stimulants typically have a calming effect on children who use it. The medications used to treat ADHD are not a cure; currently there is no cure for ADHD.
One medication that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is Adderall, of which the activity ingredient is amphetamine. Adderall, like many medications, has a number of side effects, some of which are very dangerous. The side effects differ depending on if the drug is given to a child or to an adult. In children, the common side effects are stomachache, difficulty falling asleep and changes in emotional state, such as anxiety or irritability. A less common side effect of Adderall is the development of sudden, repetitive movements or sounds, which are called tics. The tics may or may not be noticeable. In addition, some children may develop a personality change, in which they appear to be without emotion. In adults, side effects include loss of appetite, weight loss, difficulty falling asleep, and headaches.
Amphetamine, or Adderall, may cause sudden death in children and teenagers, in particular those who have heart defects or serious heart problems. It may also cause sudden death, heart attack, or stroke in adults, especially in adults who have serious heart conditions. In 2005 the FDA issued a public health advisory for Adderall. There were 12 reported sudden deaths of children in the United States who were taking Adderall. This led to a brief ban on the distribution of the drug by Health Canada. This ban has since been lifted. This does not mean, however, that those deaths were not caused by Adderall, so you should not be quick to look to the drug if your child has any heart-related issues while on Adderall.
The United States Food and Drug Administration requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to perform a series of thorough tests on medications before they are approved for use. The FDA weighs the risks against the benefits of the medication; if the benefits outweigh the risks, approval is typically made. Unfortunately, often many serious risks of medications are not discovered until the medicine has been approved and many people have started using the medicine and developed health complications as a result.
If you or your child have taken Adderall and suffered serious consequences your first step should be to contact your physician. Your doctor will assess your child's health or your health to establish a medical connection between the side effect and Adderall. It can be heartbreaking that a medication that you give to your child to help them can actually cause them to end up in a worse situation that when you began. When the side effects of the medication are worse than the original problem, the cost has become higher than the benefit.
If you or your child has suffered from serious side effects as the result of taking prescribed Adderall, it is recommended that you speak with an attorney. An attorney who is well-versed in pharmaceutical regulations and law or a personal injury attorney will review health records and other information regarding your case to determine whether or not you can make a viable claim against the pharmaceutical manufacturer. If you can make a claim, your lawyer will guide you through the process and help you obtain compensation for medical costs and pain and suffering.