ADD/ADHD stimulant medications and Strattera have been studied extensively and both have been found to cause slight, but clinically insignificant changes in blood pressure and heart rate in children and adults.
Any increase in heart rate or blood pressure that does occur tends to diminish as the medication is used over time.
Therefore, there is no need to routinely screen heart rate, blood pressure, or EKG’s before using any of these medications.
In my experience, the ADD medications can also be safely used with all of the medications currently used to treat hypertension.
However, some so-called beta-blockers can cause fatigue and sleepiness, which may aggravate ADD symptoms. If this occurs, either a switch in anti-hypertensives or an adjustment of the ADD medication may be necessary.
I have seen many adults with ADD who were hypertensive and receiving anti-hypertensive treatment at the time they were diagnosed with ADD.
Interestingly, when we instituted medication and other supportive treatment, they began eating better, exercising more, losing weight, and handling stress more effectively and soon had normal blood pressure with no need for anti-hypertensive medication.
For further insight into the clinical truth of ADD/ADHD medication, don’t miss Dr. Liden’s (free) download PDF of his book, ADD/ADHD Basics 301. More honest discussion about the hot topics surrounding Attention Deficit Disorder can be found in our Pay Attention! blog series.