Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder drugs and growth: An Italian prospective observational study

Elena A P Germinario, Romano Arcieri, Maurizio Bonati, Alessandro Zuddas, Gabriele Masi, Stefano Vella, Flavia Chiarotti, Pietro Panei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: This study was conducted to assess the long-term effect of methylphenidate (MPH) or atomoxetine (ATX) on growth in attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug-naïve children. Design: The study was an observational, post-marketing, fourth phase study. Methods: Data on height and weight were collected at baseline and every 6 months up to 24 months. Results: Both ATX and MPH lead to decreased height gain (assessed by means of z-scores); the effect was significantly higher for ATX than for MPH. At any time, height z-score decrease in the ATX group was higher than the corresponding decrease observed in the MPH group, but the difference was significantly relevant only during the first year of treatment. An increment of average weight was observed both in patients treated with MPH and in those treated with ATX. However, using Tanner's percentile, a subset of patients showed a degree of growth lower than expected. This negative effect was significantly higher for ATX than for MPH. Conclusions: We conclude that ADHD drugs show a negative effect on linear growth in children in middle term. Such effect appears more evident for ATX than for MPH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-447
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Volume23
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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