ADHD drug Ritalin could delay puberty and hair for boys. The research was performed on male monkeys as they were given the drug for 40 months. Results showed that the monkeys had “impaired testicular descent” and smaller-sized testicles, as well as lower testosterone levels, of that of same age monkeys not taking the drug, all of which resolved over the course of the study.
“To our knowledge, it’s the first observation in primates to suggest an alteration in testicular function,” said study author Dr. Donald Mattison, a medical officer at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
“We believe they’re interesting observations, but substantially more work needs to be done, to make sure they’re repeatable,” Mattison said. “It’s really too early to say there are clinical implications.”
Though he cautioned that more extensive testing would be needed to see if the effects are the same in humans.
“Parents of children who take this drug for ADHD should talk with their child’s doctor before making any changes to their son or daughter’s medication,” Mattison said.
Doctors are also concerned with side effects include comprehensive and accurate Concerta with sudden mood changes and swings in adolescents.
Researchers have looked into the role of Ritalin, in affecting stature, with some studies finding slight decreases in height acceleration and changes to hormones. Other studies indicate height may normalize by adolescence. In a 2005 study, only “minimal effects on growth in height and weight were observed” after 2 years of treatment. “No clinically significant effects on vital signs or laboratory test parameters were observed.”
The new study is “another piece of evidence that this medication is a powerful medication that does something to the physiology,” in this case it delayed puberty, said James Swanson, director of the Child Development Center, at the University of California, Irvine, who studies ADHD in children but was not involved in the new study.