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ADHD Meds Weaken Kids’ Bones: Prescription Medicine Linked to Osteopenia

Jun 30, 2016 10:13AM

A new study announced at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons shows that drugs prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can weaken bones in children during a time of critical growth. This study tested 5,315 kids between 8 and 17 years old and compared the results to a subgroup of 1,967. Each child was given a bone mineral density scan on the femur, femoral neck and lumbar spine.

The children taking ADHD medications of Ritalin, Focalin, Dexedrine, Strattera and Vyvanese had lower bone mineral density in the femur, femoral neck and lumbar spine. At least 25 percent of the youngsters taking these medications were categorized as having osteopenia.

According to a 2014 Express Scripts study, prescriptions of ADHD medications to children in the U.S. grew by 36 percent between 2008 and 2012.

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