The American Heart Association published a release yesterday stating that stimulant medications prescribed for ADHD can kill children through sudden cardiac arrest, stroke, and can cause heart palpitations. For more ADHD meds side-effects information, see our Natural ADHD Management Handbook.

Here is an excerpt from the AHA’s press release:

“After ADHD is diagnosed, but before therapy with a stimulant or other medication is begun, we suggest that an ECG be added to the pre-treatment evaluation to increase the likelihood of identifying cardiac conditions that may place the child at risk for sudden death,” said Victoria L. Vetter, M.D., head of the statement writing committee and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

Vetter also said doctors should evaluate children and adolescents already taking these medications if they were not evaluated when they started the treatment.

If heart problems are suspected after the evaluation, children should be referred to a pediatric cardiologist. Once stimulant treatment begins, children should have their heart health monitored periodically, with a blood pressure check within one to three months, then again at routine follow-ups every six to 12 months.

“Children can have undiagnosed heart conditions without showing symptoms,” Vetter said. “Furthermore, a child’s body changes constantly, with some conditions not appearing until adolescence.” (

You can read the full study here:

When you combine the risk of heart attack with liver damage and stunted growth, ADHD meds lose some of their appeal.

What are some alternatives to ADHD drugs?

  • Eliminate or limit certain foods and chemicals. Which ones? Buy the book Natural ADHD Management. It’s quick, easy, and hands you great strategies for home, school, and work. It is also costs a fraction of what ADHD and ADD medications run, and is far healthier.
  • acupuncture
  • homeopathy
  • reflexology – it’s like acupuncture without the needles, and is something your child can do themselves, and something you can help them with
  • fun exercise – our kids don’t get enough recess or gym, in most cases, so make sure to add this in
  • meditation – it will help your child become more self-aware and better able to maintain self-control

All of these alternatives are also good for you as the parent after all of the stress of dealing with these challenges and navigating the best options for your child.

Leave a comment and let us know what you are doing currently, what effect this new study has on you and your children, and what resources you would like access to.


Heather Cate's signature, Spiritual Coach for the Creative Soul