Could ADHD drugs lower kids’ bone density?


By HealthDay News   |   April 1, 2016

ADHD Kids on stimulants show 5% lower bone density

Commonly prescribed drugs to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may decrease bone density by 5%, a new study says.

Importantly, the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Alexis Feuer, a pediatric endocrinologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, cautions: “Failure to obtain adequate bone mass by early adulthood may result in an increased fracture risk or even the development of osteoporosis later in adulthood.” The findings were presented 4/1/16 at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, in Boston.

According to Dr. Harold Levinson, this important study, if and perhaps until validated, suggests that young kids on stimulants should have their bone density monitored before and during stimulant treatment. Thus the researchers sensibly advised that weight-bearing exercises and proper nutrition — particularly adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D — might be given prophylactically to kids taking stimulants in order to help protect their bone health. Just in case.

Although older studies indicated that stimulants may affect growth, the latest published data tends to minimize or refute this link. In my experience, those kids on stimulants with growth issues invariably spurted when off Rx during summer vacations. If the latter clinical observation had merit and was not due to chance alone, then the growth link appears independent of bone density.

About Dr. Harold Levinson

Formerly Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York University Medical Center, Dr. Harold Levinson is currently Director of the Levinson Medical Center for Learning Disabilities in Long Island, New York. He is a well-known neuropsychiatrist, clinical researcher and author. For more information, call 1(800)334-7323 or visit:


Image courtesy of Nenetus/





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