A medication that may affect polygraph test data
In the past, several people have asked me if the medication they have been prescribed will interfere with their polygraph test. I tell them that most medications generally do not have a great impact on polygraph testing. However, there are some medications that do. Lafayette Instrument Company has a drug reference program incorporated into their software. But as I learned during this last test there are a lot of medications that are not listed in this drug reference. There are new drugs being released every day.
As a veteran polygraph examiner with more than 5000 examinations, I thought I had run into just about every type of medication that might have a substantial impact on my polygraph data. However this old examiner learned a new lesson on this test in question.
I have deliberately disguised some identifying facts and issues about this case. You should not attribute the following circumstances to any individual.
Recently I tested a 17-year-old juvenile who suffered from attention deficit disorder and had been prescribed Vyvance medication. This medication’s generic form is lisdexamfetamine. During the test I checked my drug reference program but could not find any listing or report on this medication. I continued with the examination but in the back of my mind I was still wondering what impact the medication might have. At the conclusion of the test and upon evaluating the polygraph charts, I noticed a lot of anomalies in the cardio. The EDA or electrodermal activity was hardly responsive. This made the EDA component just about unusable. There were also many involuntary movement anomalies in the polygraph data.
The final outcome of the test was no finding or inconclusive because of a lack of quality data collected. I know it is difficult for a polygraph manufacture to keep updating the polygraph drug reference program. This case is antidotal but is a good example of why examiners need to know what medications a subject is taking and what effect that medication has on his physiology as it relates to polygraph testing. I do hope that other examiners who have tests to conduct on examinee’s taking this medication use a lot of care. If any examiners have experienced issues with medications of this type or others, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you.
Research below obtained from the MDweb website: http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/features/adhd-medications-scary-side-effects
Lisdexamfetamine is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as part of a total treatment plan, including psychological, social, and other treatments. It may help to increase the ability to pay attention, stay focused, and stop fidgeting.
This medication is a stimulant. It is thought to work by restoring the balance of certain natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain.
Some but not all reported side effects.
- Sleepiness, uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body, dizziness, jitters
- Fast or pounding heartbeat
- Hallucinating (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- Believing things that are not true