Disease Proof

Ritalin Stunts

Get a load of this article Dr. Fuhrman emailed me. Apparently Ritalin—the drug doctors just love to prescribe for ADHD—might stunt growth. WebMD reported on it back in July, take a look:
The symptoms of childhood ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) usually get dramatically better soon after kids start taking stimulant drugs. But this benefit may come with a cost, says James Swanson, Ph.D., director of the Child Development Center at the University of California, Irvine.


"Yes, there is a growth-suppression effect with stimulant ADHD medications," Swanson tells WebMD. "It is going to occur at the age of treatment, and over three years it will accumulate."

Whether these kids eventually grow to normal size remains a question. Kids entered the study in 1999 at ages 7 to 9. The current report is a snapshot taken three years later. The 10-year results — when the kids are at their adult height — won't be in for two more years.

"The big question now is whether there is any effect on these kids' ultimate height," Swanson says. "We don't know if by the time they are 18 they will regain the height."
For more on ADHD, check out DiseaseProof’s ADHD category.
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