Long-Term Side Effects of Metadate
Scientists are now studying the long-term effects of methylphenidate (the active ingredient of Metadate) on the brain. However, at this point, most of these studies involve rats or mice -- not humans. In these studies, animals given methylphenidate early in life were shown to have several changes in behavior and brain chemistry.
A study published in the November 2006 edition of Biological Psychiatry suggests that methylphenidate decreases the survival of new brain cells in certain parts of the brain in adult rats that were given methylphenidate when they were younger. These changes could possibly lead to depression or anxiety in adulthood. However, it is important to note that animals do not always respond to medicines the same way that humans do.
The long-term side effects of Metadate are not well understood at this time. However, research is being done in this area. It is known that, over time, Metadate can cause a slowing down of growth; therefore, your child's growth should be monitored while he or she is taking the drug. In addition, the medication should not be used for any longer than necessary.