Children Starting ADHD Medication, Should They Undergo EKG Screening?

Dr. Scott explains that EKG’s are not needed for children who are starting to use ADHD medication.

William A. Scott, MD FHRS FACC FAAP: EKGs are not necessary for children who are about to begin medication for ADHD. Concern arose in the past related to voluntary reporting of incidents in children who had unrecognized heart disease.

In general, most children can take these medications quite safely without any concern. If the family has a prior history of congenital heart disease, a premature heart disease, or a significant arrhythmias, or the child themselves has a history of heart disease, an evaluation is indicated prior to beginning these medications.

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There has been great debate about the need for the screening tests in children. Consequently large organizations such as American College of Cardiology and the American Academy of Pediatrics have come out with consensus recommendations where experts, physicians reviewed all the available data and determined that the EKG was not indicated for most patients beginning these medications.

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