Weight and Height in Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Longitudinal Database Study Assessing the Impact of Guanfacine, Stimulants, and No Pharmacotherapy

Gary Schneider, Tobias Banaschewski, Brian L. Feldman, Per A. Gustafsson, Brian Murphy, Matthew Reynolds, David R. Coghill, William M. Spalding (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    Abstract

    To assess the impact of long-term pharmacotherapy with guanfacine immediate- or extended-release (GXR), administered alone or as an adjunctive to a stimulant, on weight and height in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methods: Data were extracted from U.S. Department of Defense medical records for patients 4-17 years of age at index date (initiation of any study medication following a year without ADHD medications, or diagnosis if unmedicated) with weight/height measurements for the analysis period (January 2009-June 2013) and the previous year (baseline). Longitudinal weight and height z-scores were analyzed using multivariable regression in three cohorts: guanfacine (initial period of guanfacine exposure), first-line stimulant monotherapy (initial period of exposure), and unmedicated. Guanfacine cohort subgroups were based on previous/concurrent stimulant exposure. Results: The weight analyses included 47,910 patients (66.8% male) and the height analyses 41,248 (67.2% male). Mean initial exposure in the weight analyses was 237 days (standard deviation [SD] = 258, median = 142) for guanfacine and 257 days (SD = 284, median = 151) for first-line stimulant monotherapy, and was similar in the height analyses. Modeling indicated that guanfacine monotherapy was not associated with clinically meaningful deviations from normal z-score trajectories for weight (first-line, n = 943; nonfirst-line, n = 796) or height (first-line, n = 741; nonfirst-line, n = 644). In patients receiving guanfacine adjunctive to a stimulant, modeled weight (n = 1657) and height (n = 1343) z-scores followed declining trajectories. In this subgroup, mean standardized weight/height had decreased during previous stimulant monotherapy. For first-line stimulant monotherapy, modeled weight (n = 32,999) and height (n = 28,470) z-scores followed declining trajectories during year 1. In the unmedicated cohort, modeled weight (n = 11,515) and height (n = 10,050) z-scores were stable. Conclusions: Guanfacine monotherapy (first-line or nonfirst-line) was not associated with marked deviations from normal growth in this modeling study of children and adolescents with ADHD. In contrast, growth trajectories followed an initially declining course with stimulants, whether given alone or with adjunctive guanfacine.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)285-304
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
    Volume29
    Issue number4
    Early online date3 Apr 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2019

    Keywords

    • attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
    • guanfacine
    • height
    • stimulant
    • weight

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