ADHD

Updated 04 July 2014

ADD drugs may cause prolonged erections

A leading type of stimulant used to treat attention deficit disorder can cause rare cases of painful and long-lasting erections.

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A leading type of stimulant used to treat attention deficit disorder can cause rare cases of painful and long-lasting erections, the US Food and Drug Administration warned.

The agency, in a notice on its website, said its review documented the problem, formally known as priapism, in males 8 to 33 years of age who took drugs containing methylphenidate.

The chemical is the active ingredient of Novartis AG's Ritalin and Johnson & Johnson's Concerta.

Permanent damage

Generic forms of both drugs are also widely used. Drug labels of such products will be updated to warn of the potential but rare danger, the FDA said. "Younger males, especially those that have not yet reached puberty, may not recognize the problem or may be embarrassed to tell anyone if it occurs," the FDA said.

The agency said patients developing erections lasting more than four hours should seek immediate medical attention to prevent permanent damage to the penis.

A non-stimulant drug also used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Eli Lilly and Co's Strattera, has also been linked to priapism in young children, teenagers and adults.

Strattera, whose chemical name is atomoxetine, appears to pose a greater risk than methylphenidate products, the FDA said. "Health care professionals should be cautious when considering changing patients from methylphenidate to atomoxetine" products, the agency said.

 

 

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ADHD Expert

Dr. Shabeer Ahmed Jeeva is a specialist psychiatrist who has been practicing child and adult psychiatry for 30 years. He has vast experience in treating ADHD, and is also an ADHD patient himself. Dr. Jeeva trained and practiced in Canada as a child and adult psychiatrist and had lived there for 25 years. He had attended medical school at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland (1970-1976). His professional experience and accreditation includes: Psychiatric residency at the University of Ottawa (Canada), Child Psychiatry fellowship at the University of Ottawa (Canada), Diploma in Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa (Canada), and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Canada. Visit his website at: www.adhdclinicjeeva.com

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