Thursday, February 05, 2009

Children's Suicide Attempts Raise Concerns About Strattera

The safety of Strattera, a drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is in question amid reports that more than 40 Canadian children have attempted suicide after taking Strattera.

Atomoxetine, sold under the name Strattera, hit the market almost four years ago. Since that time, Health Canada said it received 189 reports of adverse reactions associated with the drug. Nearly one-third of the 189 reported adverse reactions were suicide attempts.

Suicidal tendencies are not the only concern that has been raised about Strattera. Just months after the drug was put on the Canadian market, Health Canada warned that the drug may trigger behavioral changes or increase the risk of self-harm. A year later, Health Canada issued a warning that all ADHD drugs, Strattera included, may be associated with agitation, hallucinations and other psychiatric problems among children.

Eli Lilly, the maker of Strattera, provided a written statement saying that Strattera is not the only ADHD drug that has been associated with suicidal behaviors.

If you were the parent of a child who attempted suicide, would Lilly’s statement pointing the finger other ADHD drugs make you feel better? I would think not.

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