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Emergency Calls for ADHD Medication Errors Up 299%, Researchers Say 1 Drug May Be Partly to Blame

By Angelo DePalma, Ph.D.


A study published Monday in Pediatrics reported a 299% increase in calls to poison control centers related to therapeutic errors associated with treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents age 20 or younger.

In a press release, study co-author Natalie Rine, Pharm.D., said increases in medication errors are consistent with the rise in ADHD diagnoses during the past two decades, “which is likely associated with an increase in the use of ADHD medications.”

In other words more diagnoses mean more prescriptions, which lead to more errors.

However, the authors of the study also said that while the increase in ADHD diagnoses from 2000 to 2009 may explain the rise in prescriptions and calls for those years, they believe the sharp uptick beginning in 2009 likely had another cause: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of guanfacine, marketed under the brand name Tenex, to treat ADHD in kids…


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