A teenager suffered a seizure after drinking a large quantity of the soft drink called Mountain Dew. The teen has ADHD, and was on medication for this disorder. Some doctors have concluded that the caffeine in the Mountain Dew, combined with the stimulant medication for ADHD was too much for the teen to handle. This brings up some questions about the safety of ADHD medications.
The teenager, who has not been named in any article that I have read on this particular news topic, is male, and is fifteen years old. He has ADHD, and was taking one of the medications for ADHD as a form of treatment for this disorder. It has been reported that he drank two entire 24 ounce bottles of Mountain Dew. It is unclear exactly how quickly the drink was consumed. The result was that the teen had a seizure.
Mountain Dew is a citrus-flavored soft drink that comes in a green, blue, red, orange, purple, white, or black color. It contains caffeine, and a lot of sugar. A 24 ounce bottle of Mountain Dew would the size that a person might choose to consume with his or her lunch. My best guess is that the bottle may contain more than one portion size.
Some ADHD medications are required to come with labels that state that the medication comes with a “potential cardiovascular risk”. Exactly how high is that risk? This is a topic of debate. It has been said that Adderall and Ritalin have both been known to increase heart rate and blood pressure. We know that having a high blood pressure, and a raised heart rate can, often, lead to a person having a stroke. It is also known that many ADHD medications contain stimulants.
There has not been a direct connection made between the ADHD medication that the teen was on, and the amount of caffeine in the Mountain Dew he drank. It has been confirmed that the teen did have a seizure, and was in the hospital, seeking treatment. One might conclude that the amount of caffeine the teen drank, combined with the stimulant effects of whatever type of ADHD medication he had in his bloodstream were more than his body could physically handle.
Parents should monitor how much sugar and caffeine their child is drinking, for health reasons, even if the child does not have ADHD. Soft drinks like Mountain Dew, obviously, are not a healthy choice, and do not provide a growing body with the nutrition it needs. Parents of children who have ADHD, and who are on a medication that is a stimulant, may want to be extra aware of the amount of caffeine that their child consumes on a daily basis.
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