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Am Fam Physician. 2005;72(10):2088

Clinical Question: In children six to 16 years of age, does treatment with atomoxetine (Strattera) slow height and weight growth?

Setting: Outpatient (any)

Study Design: Cohort (prospective)

Synopsis: The results presented in this study were compiled from 13 multicenter trials evaluating the effectiveness of atomoxetine in the treatment of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. A total of 419 children received treatment for at least two years and, for most of these children, weight (98 percent) and height (91 percent) were recorded after two years of continuous treatment. On average, children dropped slightly off the height growth curve over two years, although the decrease of 2.2 percentiles on average translates into a height of 0.44 cm below the predicted value. At the start of the study, the children’s weight averaged in the 60th percentile for age and dropped 2.7 percentiles, an average decrease of 0.87 kg (1.91 lb). As would be expected because of regression to the mean, children at the lowest height and weight measurements for age made the largest increases over time, and the children above expected weight and height measurements had less of an increase over time.

Bottom Line: Continuous treatment with atomoxetine for two years results in a minimal, if any, decrease in height and weight. (Level of Evidence: 2b)

POEMs (patient-oriented evidence that matters) are provided by Essential Evidence Plus, a point-of-care clinical decision support system published by Wiley-Blackwell. For more information, see http://www.essentialevidenceplus.com. Copyright Wiley-Blackwell. Used with permission.

For definitions of levels of evidence used in POEMs, see http://www.essentialevidenceplus.com/product/ebm_loe.cfm?show=oxford.

To subscribe to a free podcast of these and other POEMs that appear in AFP, search in iTunes for “POEM of the Week” or go to http://goo.gl/3niWXb.

This series is coordinated by Sumi Sexton, MD, editor-in-chief.

A collection of POEMs published in AFP is available at https://www.aafp.org/afp/poems.

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Copyright © 2005 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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