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ADHD Medications can Prevent Death from Unnatural Causes

ADHD Medicines Prevent Death

ADHD medications can prevent death from unnatural causes, a study published in JAMA, including 148578 patients, concluded.

Key points of the Study:

  1. People diagnosed with ADHD who start taking medicines can lower their chances of death within the next 2 years compared to those who never take meds. 
  2. These medicines serve to reduce the risks of dying from accidents, suicide, or accidental poisoning among those with ADHD.
  3. While these drugs can help with overall mortality and only unnatural causes, they do not show a significant difference in deaths caused by physical conditions.
  4. The study had over 150,000 subjects with ADHD and only 57% of them initiated pharmacotherapy after being diagnosed.
  5. It is important to begin taking medicines as soon as one is diagnosed with ADHD since it is linked to lower possibilities of death from preventable causes.

How Do ADHD Medications Prevent Death?

For people with hearing impairments, using cochlear implants can enhance their abilities. In the same manner, ADHD meds can help people focus more on their daily routines.

Since their thoughts can be all over the place and concentrating on one particular thing can be a hassle, the drugs do wonders by regulating the mindset.

These meds do not ‘cure’ ADHD they help improve the quality of life. It can also reduce symptoms so you can go around your day without a problem.

Since 1998, the prevalence of ADHD cases has increased a lot. This is mainly due to better diagnostic criteria and more awareness rather than just increases in the prevalence of the condition [ref].

Nevertheless, in both adult and child psychiatry cases, the prescription of ADHD drugs is more practiced than before but some patients might not comply or understand their importance.

A very recent study published in the JAMA network explored the incidence of death rates in people who started taking ADHD meds.

They found that initiation of medication intake has been related to reduced possibilities of death from unnatural causes among people diagnosed with ADHD.

This stresses the vitality of taking prescribed drugs after diagnosis. In this case, when individuals are more focused, they can easily prevent any harm from coming their way.

hidden symptoms of adhd in adults
Symptoms of ADHD in adults

Methods and Findings:

The study took place in Sweden and they looked at data from over 148,000 people diagnosed with ADHD between the years 2007 and 2018.

They found that 57% of them did initiate taking meds. They followed those individuals for over 2 years and concluded that those who started taking medicines had lowered their chances of death when compared to those who didn’t.

This conclusion was evident in cases of deaths from accidents, suicide, or poisoning. These instances were prevented simply by consuming meds that helped bring back focus. However, deaths from natural causes like heart attacks were not affected.

Lastly, the study suggests the use of prescribed ADHD drugs to stay safe and prevent self-harm.


List of ADHD Medications:

ADHD Medications are generally classified as stimulant drugs and Non-stimulant drugs.

Stimulant Drugs Include:

  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
  • Amphetamines (Adderall)
  • Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)

Non-stimulant ADHD Drugs Include:

  • Atomoxetine (Strattera)
  • Guanfacine and
  • Clonidine
Mood swings in ADHD adult
Mood swings in person with ADHD

Can ADHD Lead to Suicide?

ADHD can especially affect a person’s social life and their performance at work and school.

Furthermore, research has also said that these individuals have a higher chance of suicidal thoughts.

A study from 2017 analyzed data from 26 different studies concerning the two factors and concluded that ADHD and suicide risk had a strong association in all age groups. [ref]

A similar study from 2014 evaluated almost 38,000 cases of ADHD and suicidal behavior they found nearly 7000 suicide-related events in the past 4 years.

At first, it appeared as if ADHD meds were causing this but a closer analysis disclosed something else.

They found that people who took the meds (especially stimulants) were less likely to think about suicide.

This stresses the importance of taking prescribed medications to protect against suicide. [ref]

hidden symptoms of ADHD

Hidden Dangers of ADHD Medications

A review on how stimulants and atomoxetine meds can affect things like growth or heart health among ADHD people found that mostly there is no hidden harm.

These are safe to consume by people of all ages and typically do not cause significant heart or growth problems.

However, doctors must closely monitor their patients to quickly recognize any issue before its too late.

For this reason, there needs to be a better way to diagnose any such issue and more proper monitoring methods must be established as well. Therefore, while these drugs are safe to take it is always advised to be more careful.

According to the Child Mind Institute, stimulants do not stay in the blood for too long so any side effects from these medications are gone by the next morning.

Research has also justified the safety of all ADHD meds and also showed how effective they are in controlling symptoms in kids.

Stimulant ADHD Medications such as amphetamine (Adderall) and Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) have addiction potential and are categorized as controlled substances.

However, your child or you are more likely to be at harm ‘without’ the ADHD medicines rather than the opposite.

Similarly, some individuals believe that these drugs interfere with your brain health which has been proved otherwise by research.

A study from 2014 concluded that psychostimulants increase activation in certain parts of the brain, particularly the right inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and insula.

These portions help with cognitive activities like paying attention or controlling impulses. So, ultimately there is only good in taking stimulants for ADHD.


In Conclusion:

ADHD Medications can be lifesaving for people with ADHD. There is a risk of dependence on stimulant drugs, however, the PROS of taking these medicines far outweigh the CONS.

In addition, by improving focus and attention, these medications may prevent people with ADHD from unnatural deaths.

What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

Here is a link to My Facebook Page. You can also contact me by email at or at My Twitter Account
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