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Benefits of long-term use of ADHD medications questioned

Date:
March 13, 2017
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
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.
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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 stimulant medication 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."


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Journal Reference:

  1. James M. Swanson, L. Eugene Arnold, Brooke S. G. Molina, Margaret H. Sibley, Lily T. Hechtman, Stephen P. Hinshaw, Howard B. Abikoff, Annamarie Stehli, Elizabeth B. Owens, John T. Mitchell, Quyen Nichols, Andrea Howard, Laurence L. Greenhill, Betsy Hoza, Jeffrey H. Newcorn, Peter S. Jensen, Benedetto Vitiello, Timothy Wigal, Jeffery N. Epstein, Leanne Tamm, Kimberly D. Lakes, James Waxmonsky, Marc Lerner, Joy Etcovitch, Desiree W. Murray, Maximilian Muenke, Maria T. Acosta, Mauricio Arcos-Burgos, William E. Pelham, Helena C. Kraemer. 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

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Wiley. "Benefits of long-term use of ADHD medications questioned." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170313134942.htm>.
Wiley. (2017, March 13). Benefits of long-term use of ADHD medications questioned. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 25, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170313134942.htm
Wiley. "Benefits of long-term use of ADHD medications questioned." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170313134942.htm (accessed March 25, 2017).