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"My husband and I each went through puberty at age 12, but our 13-year-old son shows no sign of it yet. He takes Wellbutrin and a short-acting stimulant for ADHD. Can these drugs delay puberty?"
Neither Wellbutrin nor stimulant medications are known to delay the onset of puberty, and there's nothing unusual about a pre-pubescent 13-year-old. Discuss your concerns with your son's physician. One option is to request that certain bone-growth sites be X-rayed or hormonal levels be checked. If they are normal, just relax and wait. If you are truly concerned, consult a pediatric endocrinologist.
Larry Silver, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as 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.