The Canadian Ministry of Health announced on Monday that it will start including new warnings on drugs taken to control Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), after reports show they may have side effects of increasing suicidal thoughts.
The step is being taken in response to the ministry receiving a number of reports concerning patients taking ADHD drugs who saw an increase in thoughts of suicide, including several suicide attempts and even actual suicides in a very small number of instances.
"This risk is already known for one ADHD drug, Strattera (atomoxetine)," notes the announcement. "New information has emerged since to suggest that the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviours may apply to all other ADHD drugs," it adds, noting that while the drugs appear not to cause the behavior, they may "contribute to the risk."
The health ministry points out 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."
All ADHD drugs are now to receive revised standardized warnings, aside from Strattera which already warns about the risk.