In this Q&A from CNN Health(published Jan 10, 2010) Dr. Raison gives a lengthy, thoughtful answer to the question: “What is the long-term effect of Adderall on a child starting it at age 8?” The question goes on more specifically to the appetite suppressant issues with stimulants.
Dr. Raisin partially answers the question and is not reassuring about ADHD in general. He focuses on efficacy of Adderall saying in general that children who respond well to psychostimulants do much better over an eight year period than those with ADHD who don’t receive treatment. He refers to an eight-year government sponsored study with no citation for further reading. He says the study finds that as a group, ADHD children underperform and have more issues. However, the ADHD kids who responded well to any of the therapies or medicines offered will improve the child’s personal outcome or, as he states generally, “much more likely to be doing well in their lives as teenagers than children who didn’t respond well.”
The takeaway was the child will respond quickly or not at all. So if the initial response is disappointing, move on to another therapy or medicine or combination. Dr. Raisin never discusses any potential medical or psychological issue with taking a psychostimulant for an extended period of time.
Source: “What are the Long Term Effects of ADHD Meds?” Expert Q&A on CNN Health. Jan. 10, 2010. Answered by Dr. Charles Raison, Psychiatrist, Emory University Medical School