An update on the safety of psychostimulants for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.


Methylphenidate is the first-line pharmacological treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Although methylphenidate has a well-established evidence base for treating ADHD, its long-term benefits are unclear.
Areas covered:
Physical adverse effects, psychiatric adverse events and brain development.
Expert opinion:
Some physical adverse events have been described (e.g. sleep disturbances, growth reduction, loss of appetite), although most are of transient nature. Psychiatric adverse events seem more related to the diagnosis ADHD itself, and not stimulant treatment. Concluding, short-to-mid-term use (i.e., up to 2 years) stimulants are relatively safe, but much less is known about longer-term efficacy and safety of these drugs.

In Expert opinion on Drug Safety.