Ritalin and Growth of Children

Q:

"My 13-year-old son has had no appetite since he started taking Ritalin, and his growth seems to have slowed. What is the link between this drug and growth problems?"

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).
A:

A study done almost twenty years ago suggested that Ritalin might suppress growth hormone and inhibit growth. However, several major studies done since then show this not to be the case. Ritalin can reduce appetite and result in weight loss. There is no concern that it will inhibit growth. I agree with your pediatrician.

Larry Silver, M.D., is the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities. He is also a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
 
 
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