Health Canada : "The benefits of medication outweigh the risks"

Health Canada, according to a recent article by The Star, has issued “stronger, clearer” warnings about the suicide risks linked to a wider range of ADHD medication. This was motivated by the regulator’s reviewing of reports, filed to the Canadian federal government by doctors, nurses, patients and drug companies, which outlined the suspected side-effects of the medication. These involved, “thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts, and in a very small number of cases, completed suicide”, which showed up during different stages of the treatment, particularly at the start, during dose changes, or when drug treatment was stopped.

Despite their recent announcement, Health Canada’s safety reviews of ADHD medications, following the reports, only showed a suspected connection between the drug and side-effects, but no medical proof that one caused the other. Especially since people with ADHD “may already have a slightly increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviours”, and that “ADHD may also affect people who have other mental health conditions that are associated with an increased risk of suicide, such as depression or bipolar disorder.”

However Health Canada did stress that “the benefits of these drugs in ADHD treatment continue to outweigh the risks”, when used under the supervised care of a medical professional.


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