ADHD Medication May Boost Kids' Arrhythmia Risk - Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND

ADHD Medication May Boost Kids’ Arrhythmia Risk

June 15, 2016

It looks like I have to add another cause of AFib to my current list of 33 in my Atrial Fibrillation book. The #20 trigger is Medications and the list of drugs with that side effect keeps growing.

Instead of using magnesium and controlling a child’s diet and keeping them away from sugar, food dye, preservatives, and, in some cases, dairy and gluten, the adrenal stimulant methylphenidate, which we know as Ritalin, has been prescribe to our children to suppress the neurotoxic excitation they feel on these foods. Doctors give this chemical-induced brain damage the name ADHD, which allows them to prescribe drugs with such serious sides effects as heart arrhythmias! I also think that giving young children medication for their moods sets them up for taking antidepressants in their teens, anti-anxiety meds in their 20’s and 30’s, and drugs for blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol from then on, because the more meds you take the more you deplete your magnesium and the more symptoms you develop.

A recent study published in the BMJ, and cited in a Medscape article, found that Ritalin, which is prescribed for ADHD, increases the risk for arrhythmias by more than 60% and that the risk more than triples if you have congenital heart disease. What are doctors told to do about this? Are they told to stop prescribing Ritalin to protect our children. No, they are merely advised to monitor the blood pressure and heart rate of children on these drugs.

In fact, there was a big flashing ADHD drug ad at the top of this article that asked: “Could your patient’s inattention/hyperactivity/inattention be ADHD? Learn More: Vyvanse® (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) is indicated for the treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in patients ages 6 and above.”

Vyvanse is just another amphetamine drug (AKA Speed) like Ritalin and chances are that when they get around to doing the study to see what Vyvanse is doing to children, they will find the same results as they did with Ritalin. Perhaps as Ritalin falls out of favor Vyvanse will take it’s place. Medical use of Ritalin began in 1960 but it’s become more popular since the 1990s when the diagnosis of ADHD became more widely accepted. Between 1991 and 1999, Ritalin sales in the United States increased 500%.

What I found most shocking in this study was the increased risk for hypertension on days 4-7 after beginning the drug and increased risk for myocardial infarction for days 8-14, 15-28, and 29-56. This means there is no way of predicting which child will have symptoms and unless they are monitored daily, you won’t be able to catch these serious effects soon enough.

An editorial about the study in the same issue of the BMJ noted that it pertains to patients with a high risk for cardiovascular disease and it “underscores the need to consider the severity of ADHD symptoms and the option of nonstimulants for children with high cardiovascular risk, to avoid uses that are entirely off label, and to closely monitor patients for whom stimulants are critical for their well-being and development.” I think that a high risk population that they are not aware of is one that is deficient in magnesium.

You can read more in my blog “Over-Diagnosing ADHD” and be sure and look into the Completement Formulas and what they can do for ADHD.

Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Doctor of the Future®


1. The Ageless Summit is a rapid-fire, five-day summit with 4 speakers per day from June 20-June 24, 2016. My talk is on June 22nd.

2. Women Against Cancer Summit launches on June 20, 2016 with Rebekah Lumley. I’ll post my date when it becomes available.

RESOURCES: Along the borders and in the links of my web site you can find my books, writings, and my call-in radio show. Email your questions to:


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