Stimulants May Pose Short-Term Cardiovascular Risks in Older Adults

Older adults prescribed stimulant medications appear to be at an elevated risk of cardiovascular problems in the first 30 days after beginning the treatment, according to astudy published today inJAMA Network Open. However, these risks decrease over time, with no evidence of increased cardiovascular risk at six months and one year after initiating treatment.“Although stimulants are most commonly used among children and youth for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an increase in stimulant use among older adults in recent years has been observed,” wrote Mina Tadrous, PharmD., Ph.D., of the University of Toronto and coll eagues. Doctors may prescribe stimulants off label to older adults for the treatment of depression, poststroke recovery, motor function, and fatigue, they noted. There is evidence that stimulants can increase resting heart rate and systolic blood pressure, but few studies have examined the cardiovas cular impact of stimulants in older adults.Tadrous and colleagues used hospital and prescription databases to assess the cardiovascular outcomes of 6,457 Ontario residents aged 66 years and older who received a new prescription for a stimulant (for example, amphetamine, methylphenidate, lisdexamfetamine, or dextroamphetamine) between January 1, 2002, and March 31, 2015. These adults were matched with a control group of 24,853 similarly aged adults who did not take any stimulants during this time. Adults in both groups were f...
Source: Psychiatr News - Category: Psychiatry Tags: cardiovascular problems heart attack JAMA Network Open off-label use older adults stimulants stroke transient ischemic attack ventricular arrhythmia Source Type: research

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