Study questions benefits of long-term use of ADHD medications

children
Credit: Robert Kraft/public domain

In a study that followed more than 500 children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) into adulthood, extended use of stimulant medication was linked with suppressed adult height but not with reduced symptoms of ADHD.

The findings suggest that short-term treatment of ADHD with stimulant medication is well justified by benefits that outweigh costs, but long-term treatment may be associated with growth-related costs that may not be balanced by symptom-related benefits.

"The most recently published guidelines (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011) recommend expanding the diagnosis and treatment beyond school-aged children and using as first-line treatment for adolescents as well as school-aged children," wrote the authors of The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry study. "Since this would increase the average duration of treatment and cumulative ME dose of medication in some individuals, the findings suggest growth-related costs may increase."


Explore further

ADHD medication can slow growth in teenage boys, study finds

More information: James M. Swanson et al, Young adult outcomes in the follow-up of the multimodal treatment study of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: symptom persistence, source discrepancy, and height suppression, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (2017). DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12684
Provided by Wiley
Citation: Study questions benefits of long-term use of ADHD medications (2017, March 13) retrieved 18 September 2020 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-03-benefits-long-term-adhd-medications.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
2 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments