ADHD drugs and a child’s growth
Some stimulant drugs prescribed for ADHD symptoms can affect a child's appetite. This can lead to a child eating less than normal.
In turn this could mean they lose weight and a loss of nutrition can even affect a child's normal growth.
Any child prescribed methylphenidate or dexamfetamine will have their weight, height and normal growth progress monitored by their doctor.
ADHD medication and growth research
A long-term UK and European project called ADDUCE is looking at the side-effects of ADHD medication such as methylphenidate.
Some studies suggest that children prescribed methylphenidate may experience a reduction in height gain of around 1 cm/year during the first 1-3 years of treatment.
However, scientists don't know whether these effects have lasting long-term consequences.
Taking methylphenidate is linked to weight loss, but sometimes this may be a change towards a child's optimum weight from being obese before ADHD treatment.
The scientists are also checking whether the growth changes affect when a child starts puberty.