ADHD :: ADHD drugmakers to expand health warnings

US FDA directs ADHD drugmakers to notify patients about cardiovascular adverse events and psychiatric adverse events from the use of ADHD drugs.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) directed the manufacturers of all drug products approved for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to develop Patient Medication Guides to alert patients to possible cardiovascular risks and risks of adverse psychiatric symptoms associated with the medicines, and to advise them of precautions that can be taken.

“Medicines approved for the treatment of ADHD have real benefits for many patients but they may have serious risks as well,” said Steven Galson, M.D., Director, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). “In our ongoing commitment to strengthen drug safety, FDA is working closely with manufacturers of all ADHD medicines to include important information in the product labeling and in developing new Patient Medication Guides to better inform doctors and patients about these concerns.”

Patient Medication Guides are handouts given to patients, families and caregivers when a medicine is dispensed. The guides contain FDA-approved patient information that could help prevent serious adverse events. Patients being treated with ADHD products should read the information before taking the medication and talk to their doctors if they have any questions or concerns.

As part of the Agency?s ongoing regulatory activity, in May 2006 the FDA directed manufacturers of these products to revise product labeling for doctors to reflect concerns about adverse cardiovascular and psychiatric events. These changes were based on recommendations from the FDA Pediatric Advisory Committee and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee. To help patients understand these risks, an additional part of this revised labeling process is the creation of a Patient Medication Guide for each individual product.

The medicines that are the focus of the revised labeling and new Patient Medication Guides include the following 15 products:

Adderall (mixed salts of a single entity amphetamine product) Tablets
Adderall XR (mixed salts of a single entity amphetamine product) Extended-Release Capsules
Concerta (methylphenidate hydrochloride) Extended-Release Tablets
Daytrana (methylphenidate) Transdermal System
Desoxyn (methamphetamine HCl) Tablets
Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine sulfate) Spansule Capsules and Tablets
Focalin (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride) Tablets
Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride) Extended-Release Capsules
Metadate CD (methylphenidate hydrochloride) Extended-Release Capsules
Methylin (methylphenidate hydrochloride) Oral Solution
Methylin (methylphenidate hydrochloride) Chewable Tablets
Ritalin (methylphenidate hydrochloride) Tablets
Ritalin SR (methylphenidate hydrochloride) Sustained-Release Tablets
Ritalin LA (methylphenidate hydrochloride) Extended-Release Capsules
Strattera (atomoxetine HCl) Capsules


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