Did the MTA study find any side effects of ADHD medications?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
The Multimodal Treatment Study of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (MTA study) did find some concerning side effects of ADHD medications. In the MTA study, 289 children were assigned to the intensive medication therapy group. All of these children took stimulant medications for ADHD. By the end of the study, 4% of these children had to stop taking the medicine due to side effects.

Some of the most common effects noticed during the study included:

- reduced growth in height and weight
- crying spells and sleep problems
- loss of appetite
- movement disorders

Even though some children experienced uncomfortable side effects, most children were able to complete the study. At the end of the study, 88% of the children in the medication group were still able to take the medications regularly.

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