Side effects of dextroamphetamine and methylphenidate in hyperactive children--a brief review

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 1984;8(1):1-8. doi: 10.1016/0278-5846(84)90129-5.


Four of the most commonly reported side effects of dextroamphetamine ( Dexedrine ) and methylphenidate (Ritalin), viz., anorexia, insomnia, stomach pains, and weight loss, were reviewed, with special attention to growth suppression accompanying weight loss. The available evidence indicates that the effects of insomnia, anorexia, and stomach pains are transient and diminish as treatment continues and as medication is properly managed. There is evidence for growth suppression accomapnying weight loss, and possibly some suppression of stature, but these effects are not long-lasting and, from existing evidence, seem to have little effect on adult height or weight.

MeSH terms

  • Anorexia / chemically induced
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Dextroamphetamine / adverse effects*
  • Growth Disorders / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Methylphenidate / adverse effects*
  • Pain / chemically induced
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / chemically induced
  • Stomach Diseases / chemically induced


  • Methylphenidate
  • Dextroamphetamine