ADHD medication can slow growth in teenage boys, study finds

January 21, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Adolescent boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to be shorter and slimmer than their same-age peers, according to a new study published in the Medical Journal of Australia today.

Dr Alison Poulton from the University of Sydney and her coauthors investigated the influence of stimulant medication on the growth and physical development during puberty of with ADHD.

The study found that prolonged treatment for more than three years with stimulant medication was associated with a slower rate of physical development during puberty.

"Our findings suggest that stimulant medication delays the rate of maturation during puberty, including the timing of the peak growth rate, but not the ," said Dr Poulton, from Sydney Medical School.

"To maintain an adequate rate of growth during puberty we recommend that boys on ADHD stimulant medication should take the lowest dose that adequately treats their ADHD," said Dr Poulton.

The researchers recruited 65 boys aged between 12 and 16 years who had ADHD and had been on stimulant medication for more than three years. Compared with boys without ADHD, boys aged between 12 and 14 years with ADHD had significantly lower weight and , and those aged between 14 and 16 years with ADHD had significantly lower height and weight.

There was no difference in pubertal development between boys with and those without ADHD aged between 12 and 14 years, but those aged between 14 and 16 years with ADHD showed significant delay.

The study also found there was a significant inverse relationship between the dose of stimulant medication and the growth rate among boys aged between 14 and 16 years with ADHD.

The authors found that boys who had taken stimulant medication for ADHD for a minimum of three years until 14 years of age showed slower weight gain but comparable height and physical development related to puberty to boys of the same age without ADHD.

However, boys aged between 14 and 16 years with were significantly behind their peers in height and pubertal development.

Explore further: Mutant gene linked to ADHD

More information: www.mja.com.au/journal/2013/19 … medication-attention

Related Stories

Mutant gene linked to ADHD

April 18, 2011
(PhysOrg.com) -- In a recent study published in Nature Medicine, Dr. Eunjin Kim from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology uncovers a genetic fault that triples the chances of a child having ADHD (Attention ...

Study evaluates treating mothers with ADHD to improve outcomes in kids

October 18, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—University of Illinois at Chicago researchers are conducting a study to determine if treating mothers with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder—either with medication or parent training—will help ...

Study suggests ADHD drugs may affect male puberty

September 20, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- A new study released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science reveals that the medication methylphenidate, best known as Ritalin, may delay puberty in males. The researchers caution ...

Mount Sinai researcher finds timing of ADHD medication affect academic progress

June 25, 2012
A team of researchers led by an epidemiologist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and University of Iceland has found a correlation between the age at which children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) begin ...

Hyperactivity: Increased prevalence of children with ADHD and the use of stimulants

March 5, 2012
A new study from the Université de Montréal shows an increase in prevalence of Canadian children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and in the use of medications associated with ADHD ...

Recommended for you

ADHD medication tied to lower risk for alcohol, drug abuse in teens and adults

July 13, 2017
The use of medication to treat attention deficient hyperactivity disorder is linked to significantly lower risk for substance use problems in adolescents and adults with ADHD, according to a study led by researchers at Indiana ...

Video game promotes better attention skills in some children with sensory processing dysfunction

April 6, 2017
A video game under development as a medical device boosts attention in some children with sensory processing dysfunction, or SPD, a condition that can make the sound of a vacuum, or contact with a clothing tag intolerable ...

Children with ADHD often live in chaotic households

March 9, 2017
Researchers often observe inadequate parenting, a negative emotional climate and household chaos in families of children with ADHD. A research group at Goethe University Frankfurt and the universities of Bremen, Heidelberg, ...

ADHD a 'brain disorder', not just bad behaviour: study

February 16, 2017
People with ADHD have slightly smaller brains than those without the condition, according to a study released Thursday which insisted it is a physical disorder and not just bad behaviour.

Could the 'Mediterranean' diet help prevent ADHD?

January 30, 2017
(HealthDay)—Kids who follow a Mediterranean diet—high in fruits, vegetables and "good" fats—may be less likely to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a small study suggests.

Data scientists find causal relation in characteristics of ADHD

December 2, 2016
Hyperactivity seems to be the result of not being able to focus one's attention rather than the other way around. This was proposed in an article in PLOS ONE, written by researchers at Radboud university medical center and ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Momof4
not rated yet Jan 22, 2013
We noticed this when my son went off his meds for the summer before high school. He grew 2 inches in just two months. Since he was always on the short side, he was excited and not to continue his meds because he wanted to continue growing. QUESTION -- if they discontinue meds during this 14 - 17 year old period -- will they return to regaining normal growth rate or will they still be significantly smaller than their peers who were not on meds prior?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.