http://www.ivanhoe.com/channels/p_channelstory.cfm?storyid=8444 Reported April 8, 2004 ADHD Treatment: Are Drugs Working? (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Stimulant medications benefit children with ADHD, but the benefits may not last and could have side effects. Two current studies focus on this issue. One study shows drugs for ADHD are effective but may cause mild growth suppression in children. The second study shows taking stimulants has beneficial effects even after families pursue other treatments. However, that study also shows some children lose the initial benefits after two years. The research on ADHD is limited and has not looked at long-term outcomes in groups. These two studies from the National Institute of Mental Health Multimodal Treatment Study of ADHD focus on follow-up data from patients after two years. The first study looked at overall symptoms and side effects on growth. The participants were part of four groups. One group took medication the entire two years, and another group did not take any medication at all. Another group took medications for 14 months and then went off it for 10 months while a fourth group did the exact opposite. Researchers found stopping medication after 14 months resulted in the biggest deterioration. The group on no medication showed modest deterioration. The group that started medication showed the most improvement in symptoms. Furthermore, the group that was on medication the entire time had a reduced height gain compared with the group never on medication. In the second study, researchers looked at benefits seen after 10 months on a stimulant to see if these benefits were still present 14 months later. Researchers report children who were initially on the drug maintained some benefits even if they went off the drug. However, some children lost some of the initial benefits over time.