Adderall is commonly prescribed to individuals who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, included in the basket of Adderall side effects is the potential for suicidal thoughts. The elder Edwards contends his son never had ADHD and challenged the diagnosis, performed by a nurse practitioner rather than a doctor and facilitated in about an hour.
According to a report from ABC News (12/11/09), Johnny Edwards was a model student. Class president at Wellesley High School, he also served as valedictorian for his 2006 graduating class. According to Bloomberg News (12/5/09), Edwards enrolled at Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, an undergraduate school of the famed Harvard University. He appeared to thrive, involved as he was in stem cell research and training for the Boston Marathon.
But he had also been having trouble studying and sought help from a counselor, according to his father, who was quoted in the report.
In June 2007, the younger Edwards was seen by a nurse practitioner and was prescribed Adderall for ADHD, Wellbutrin, Prozac for anxiety and, according to Bloomberg, Accutane for an acne condition. A professor of pharmacology at the University of Florida told ABC News at the time that the drugs prescribed to the student “tend to work at cross purposes,” said Paul Doering, who stressed to ABC he had not seen the younger Edwards’ medical records and was not commenting directly on the case. That said, an individual taking all those drugs at the same time “didn’t seem right,” Doering said.
In a case study published in The New York Times (5/1/13), it was noted that the capacity for a nurse practitioner to evaluate and determine a diagnosis - and to prescribe medications - is legal in the state of Massachusetts. According to the report, the clinical nurse who evaluated Edwards noted in pre-trial testimony that Edwards had complained about an inability to concentrate for study purposes, amongst other observations, that prompted Marianne Cannon to diagnose Edwards as having ADHD and prescribe Adderall and two other medications. About six months following his diagnosis, and 11 days shy of his 20th birthday, Johnny Edwards took his own life in late November 2007.
Adderall adverse events can include Adderall heart attack and Adderall stroke. The Edwards case notwithstanding, Adderall is becoming increasingly popular amongst college and university students seeking help in concentrating for exams, and there appears to be a healthy underground market for Adderall. In this context, serious Adderall side effects are exacerbated due to the unapproved and unsupervised use of Adderall - sometimes resulting in Adderall death.
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The Adderall lawsuit, which according to The New York Times goes to trial in February, alleges that drugs received by the late Johnny Edwards - including Adderall - “are associated with an increase in suicidal thoughts.”
The case, according to Bloomberg News, is Edwards v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, 09-4695, Massachusetts Superior Court (Middlesex County).