Briefly noted: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Linear Growth

CA Calarge et al. J Pediatr 2018; 201: 245-51. This study analyzed data from 4 separate trials with a total of 267 boys treated with risperidone.  In this cohort, 71% had taken an SSRI.

Key finding: The duration and cumulative dose of SSRI was inversely associated with height z score, especially during Tanner 3 and 4 stages.  The effect was approximately 1 cm for every year of treatment.

The authors speculate that SSRIs could “alter serotonin signaling, which is known to control GH secretion.”

My take:

  1. This study shows an association between SSRIs and linear growth but it remains unclear if this affects adult height (could postpone growth).
  2. This potential adverse effect needs to be considered in the clinical picture of the severe impairment and distress that can occur due to untreated depression and anxiety.

Related blog post: Brave New World: Psychotropic Manipulation and Pediatric Functional GI Disorders

Lake Louise, Banff

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