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ADHD in Children Health Center

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Ritalin May Slow Growth in Some

But Researchers Say Most Kids Catch Up, Reach Normal Adult Height

500% Increase in Use

Roughly 10 million Ritalin prescriptions are filled each year in the U.S. for the treatment of children and adults with ADHD. Sales of Ritalin and chemically similar drugs increased by more than 500% in the 1990s.

University of Texas Medical Branch pediatrics professor Wayne Snodgrass, MD, says Ritalin's potential impact on height is not high on the list of potential concerns about the drug. Snodgrass is chairman of the committee on drugs of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"A much bigger issue is whether kids are being given a correct diagnosis before being given stimulants," he tells WebMD. "Medication can be very useful for some children, but parents need to make sure that their child has a good thorough evaluation before considering it."

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