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ADHD Medications Do Not Stunt Child's Growth, Study Finds

9/1/2014
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For Release:  September 1, 2014

Stimulant medications are often used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but there is a concern these drugs may stunt children’s growth. A study in the October 2014 Pediatrics, “ADHD, Stimulant Treatment, and Growth: A Longitudinal Study,” published online Sept. 1, found the medications did not affect children’s final height as adults. For the study, researchers examined 340 children with ADHD who were born between 1976 and 1982, and compared their final adult heights with a control group of children who did not have ADHD. Neither ADHD itself nor treatment with stimulants was associated with final adult height. Among boys with ADHD, those treated with stimulants for three or more months had a growth spurt at a later age than boys not treated with stimulants, but there was no difference in the magnitude of the growth spurt. There was no link between longer duration of stimulant treatment and final adult height. Study authors conclude that neither childhood ADHD itself nor treatment with stimulant medications is associated with growth problems or shorter stature in adulthood.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.


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