ADHD Medicine Reduces Child's Height, Not Symptoms? New Study Says Medicating Stunts Growth
A new study on long-term medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) revealed no links to the reduction of the disorder's symptoms. Instead, experts said medicating could likely result in the reduction of the child's height.
The study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, involved 515 children with ADHD and 258 children without ADHD. Experts from the University of California, Irvine tracked the children in the ages of two to 16-years-old for two decades. The Multimodal Treatment Study was one of the biggest and longest ADHD research.
Experts learned the kids who consistently took ADHD medicine were averagely 2.36 cm shorter compared to those who sporadically medicated or only had a short-term ADHD medication plan. Children with ADHD, regardless of medicine intake, were generally shorter at 1.29 cm than children without ADHD, as per Healio.
Lead study author Dr. James Swanson underscored that even as long-term use of ADHD medication was standard and acceptable, the researchers found no direct links of its benefits to patients. They saw no significant difference or improvements among those who continued the ADHD medication and those who stopped or never took the medicine. "My position is that it probably shouldn't be considered a medication that has a long-term benefit," he said, as per Medscape.
— Kate Barrett (@uvatech) November 11, 2016
Swanson also noted the children with ADHD who continued medication received more advantages as they had good education and their family can afford a better life. "Why aren't they better?" Swanson asked.
Some experts said the study also highlighted the benefits of taking a "drug holiday" from psychotropic medicine, such as ADHD medicines. Dr. Nicole Pratt said she was part of the study that looked into the long-term effects of ADHD medicines against cardiovascular safety.
That study determined continuous medication increased the child's arrhythmia risk. Pratt and the rest of the experts believe further studies would tell them more about long-term disadvantages of ADHD medicine.