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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Adderall and Growth

09/19/1998

Question:

My 14 year old son takes Adderall for ADD(without H). He is almost 6'2" but worries that he will not grow to his full height. Is Adderall one of the drugs that either inhibits or prevents growth in children?

Answer:

As far as we know, no stimulants actually inhibit growth. Several years back it was observed that children taking stimulants "seemed" to have their growth inhibited. However, later studies showed that, although growth was sometimes slowed for a period, it always caught up later. On the other hand, I have not come across any studies that verify that Adderall will positively not inhibit growth. It is possible, although not likely, that certain doses and/or dose schedules and/or people may be affected differently than seen in past studies. Fortunately, the National Institute of Mental Health has studies looking at many different aspects of stimulants currently underway. That should help us give better answers to many questions over the next few years.

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Response by:

Susan Louisa Montauk, MD
Formerly Professor of Family Medicine
University of Cincinnati