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Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health. 2015 Oct 28;9:50. doi: 10.1186/s13034-015-0082-3. eCollection 2015.

The effects of long-term medication on growth in children and adolescents with ADHD: an observational study of a large cohort of real-life patients.

Author information

1
Centre for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Aarhus University Hospital, Skovagervej 2, entr. 81, 8240 Risskov, Denmark.
2
Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Bartholins Allé, build. 1260, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Children and adolescents with ADHD treated with central stimulants (CS) often have growth deficits, but the implications of such treatment for final height and stature remain unclear.

METHODS:

Weight and height were assessed multiple times in 410 children and adolescents during long-term treatment with CS, which lasted between 0.9 and 16.1 years. Weight and height measures were converted to z-scores based on age- and sex-adjusted population tables.

RESULTS:

CS treatment was associated with (1) a relative reduction in body weight and a temporary halt in growth, (2) a weight and height lag after 72 months compared with relative baseline values. No relation to early start of medication (<6 years), gender, comorbid ODD/CD or emotional disorders was observed.

CONCLUSIONS:

Treatment with central stimulants for ADHD impacts growth in children and adolescents, and growth should be continuously monitored in patients on chronic treatment with these medications.

KEYWORDS:

ADHD; Central stimulants; Growth; Long-term effects

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