Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Chart Height, Weight of Patients on ADHD Drugs. (Growth Delays Noted in 2-Year Study)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Chart Height, Weight of Patients on ADHD Drugs. (Growth Delays Noted in 2-Year Study)

Article excerpt

HONOLULU -- Growth reductions seen in a 2-year study of 44 children taking mixed amphetamine salts for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder spotlight the need to monitor height and weight, Dr. Peter A. Ahmann said.

Higher doses of the mixed amphetamine salts (Adderall) were associated with greater declines in growth rate, he reported in a poster presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

In a longitudinal study of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who responded to treatment with Adderall, 44 children were evaluated after a median of 2 years. Adderall remained effective in 36 (82%) but slowed growth velocity by about one-half inch (1.4 cm) per year in height, said Dr. Ahmann of the Marshfield (Wisc.) Clinic.

No one knows whether these children might catch up in growth during adolescence or if stopping the medication would lead to catch-up growth. No one knows if the growth lag could be modified by good nutrition.

Thirty-three (75%) of the subjects were younger than 10 years at follow-up, and 35 (80%) were male.

Although the cohort initially had generally larger body sizes relative to national percentiles, 2 years later they showed significant declines relative to national percentiles. …

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