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December 1988

Methylphenidate and Growth in Hyperactive ChildrenA Controlled Withdrawal Study

Author Affiliations

From the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Hillside Division, Glen Oaks, NY. Drs R. Gittelman Klein and D. F. Klein are now with New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York; Dr Landa is now with Avon Products, Inc, New York; and Dr Mattes is now with the Psychopharmacology Research Association of Princeton, NJ.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988;45(12):1127-1130. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1988.01800360075011

• The effect of stimulants on growth has been controversial. Among hyperactive children receiving long-term methylphenidate hydrochloride treatment, we examined the effects of methylphenidate withdrawal on the growth of hyperactive children randomly assigned to be taken off, or remain on, the medication regimen over two consecutive summers. After one summer, no group difference in height was found, but weight was higher in the group that had been taken off methylphenidate therapy. In contrast, two summers of being off methylphenidate treatment had a significant positive effect on height but not on weight. The results document a linkage between exposure to methylphenidate and reduction in growth velocity. However, they do not address whether the medication has long-term effects on height.