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Massachusetts Plaintiff Sues Over Adderall Death and Other Prescribed Drugs

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Boston, MAAn Adderall lawsuit filed by Wellesley, Massachusetts resident John Edwards against Harvard two years after his son Johnny Edwards committed suicide, alleges the dedicated student’s downward spiral began following an examination at Harvard University Health Services at which the student was prescribed Adderall and antidepressant drugs.

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.

In the Edwards case, Johnny Edwards was duly prescribed Adderall and at least two other drugs by a medical professional. However, Edwards’ father takes issue with the diagnosis of ADHD together with the fact that the diagnosis and prescribed medication came at the hands of a clinical nurse and not a doctor, although it should be noted the practitioner’s work was overseen by a physician.

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).


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Posted by

I have ADD and have been taking adderall daily for 10 years. Roughly 6 months ago I began to get severely paranoid, delusional and experience hallucinations. After 1 month in a psych ward and cessation of the drug I am sitting here 4 months later with hallucinations, delusions and severe paranoia. Adderall has destroyed my brain and I never abused it and only took it as prescribed.

Posted by

my son has bee in and out of hospitals for suicide attempts. at one point he has a psychiastrist prescribe almost 300 mg of adderal a day. he stood outside of her office ilucinating and had thr receptionist handle him and told me he would be fine. she had him on so many meds it was impossible. the last more impirtant turn of events was this year he syffered from serotoninsyndomr from an iverdose of effexor. i am not sure thus was the real drug. the doctor took it from a cabinet of drugs which belinged to other patients and were ni longer there. i didnt even know how old or how ling it sat there. he almost died the last time. he has been given drugs and taken off drugs so many times i dont think his brain even kniws how to handle them anymore. and every time he is doung good another doctordecides maybe we shoyld try this drug. i blamed the doctors, nursr practioners and especially the pharma companies for just tryinf to make mire money on the expense of innocent people. now he is trying to collect ss disability and no one wants to stand up to help him after what they cre as ted.

Posted by

The prescription drug problem in the United States is epidemic. This is what encouraged me to produce the documentary Behind The Orange Curtain. In this country we lose one life every 24 minutes to a rx overdose. Big Pharma is raking in billions while no one is watching the hen house. Dirty doctors are prescribing for cash. Doctor shoppers know how to work the system and get their prescriptions for cash with no one tracking these opiates. Heroin is on the rise because rx drugs are expensive and heroin produces the same high for a fraction of the cost. The trailer can be seen at
We need to get the word out. We have an epidemic on our hands.



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