Managing Medications

Long-Term Effects of Stimulants

“My son has been taking a stimulant for two years. How much longer should he stay on it? I worry that taking the drug a long time may cause adverse effects.”

Your son should stay on the medication as long as symptoms interfere with his success in school, at home, or socially. Some individuals “outgrow” ADHD in adolescence, but most continue to have symptoms throughout their lives. Stimulant medications have been used to treat ADHD since the 1950s. So far, we have found no adverse long-term effects.