Effects of Atomoxetine on Growth After 2-Year Treatment Among Pediatric Patients With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Spencer T
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Objective. Treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is maintained typically over periods of months or years and, as a result, the potential effects on growth of pharmacotherapy for this disorder have been an area of concern. This meta-analysis examined the effect on growth of atomoxetine, now approved in the United States for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Methods. Patients (N = 412) were 6 to 16 years of age at the start of the treatment period and received atomoxetine treatment (maximal dose: 1.8 mg/kg per day) for [≥]2 years. Weight and height measurements were analyzed both as actual values and after conversion to percentiles and z scores with growth charts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Expected weight and height at the end point were calculated through extrapolation from patients' baseline percentiles with the growth charts. Results. Results indicated that, after 2 years, observed weight and height were close to those predicted on the basis of the patients' baseline weight and height. Weight increased an average of 10.8 kg, a decrease relative to baseline normative weight of 2.7 percentiles, corresponding to 0.87 kg. Height increased an average of 13.3 cm, a decrease relative to baseline normative heights of 2.2 percentiles, corresponding to 0.44 cm. For both weight and height, the quartile of patients who were smallest at baseline had an increase in end-point percentile, whereas patients in the highest quartile had a decrease. Conclusions. These findings suggested that, at the group level, there was only a minimal effect on height after 2 years of treatment with atomoxetine and, for patients most at risk (the lowest quartile), there seemed to be no effect.

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  • T. J. Spencer

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