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Genetic heart condition may make certain medications unsafe

When a medical provider prescribes a medication, the provider has to take a lot of information into account. Medical conditions, medical history and other medications are some of the factors that must be considered. If any of those factors could interact negatively with the medication, the benefit of prescribing the medication has to be weighed against the negative interactions.

In the case of children who are being treated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, special care has to be taken when prescribing medications because of certain interactions. ADHD medications can increase blood pressure and heart rate. While those common side effects are manageable for most children who suffer from ADHD, some medications can be disastrous for children with heart conditions.

One particular interaction between ADHD medications and heart conditions has to do with Long QT Syndrome. Long QT Syndrome affects around 1 out of every 2,000 people in this country. It is a genetic disorder that leads to arrhythmias. Because arrhythmias are fast and irregular heart rhythms, ADHD medications that can lead to an increase in heart rate can react with the condition in a way that would raise the heart rate to a deadly level.

The prescribing doctor must check for interactions and determine if the need to treat the ADHD is serious enough to warrant taking this type of risk. If the risk is acceptable, the lowest dose possible should be used. Parents should be notified of the potential interactions. Careful monitoring is a must.

Any parent who has a child who has experienced a negative interaction with ADHD medications because of a known heart condition might choose to seek compensation for medical malpractice.

Source: University of Rochester Medical Center, "ADHD Medications Pose Risk for Patients With Heart Disorder," Susanne Pritchard Pallo, July 29, 2015

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