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Expert Panel Reviews Amphetamines and Methylphenidate

By Mike Shelby and Gloria Jahnke
July 2005

Sponsored by the National Toxicology Program Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction, an expert panel convened Jan. 10-12 in Alexandria, Va., to evaluate scientific evidence on the potential reproductive and/or developmental toxicity associated with exposure to the central nervous system stimulants amphetamines and methylphenidate.

The CERHR chose these stimulants because of widespread use in children, availability of developmental studies in children and experimental animals, and public concern about the effects of these stimulants on child development.

The panel reached the following conclusions based on its evaluation of the data on amphetamines and methamphetamine:

Amphetamine

There is some concern with potential neurobehavioral alterations due to prenatal amphetamine exposure in humans both in therapeutic and non-therapeutic settings.

Methamphetamine

There is concern about potential adverse perinatal outcomes and neurobehavioral alterations due to prenatal methamphetamine exposure in humans both in therapeutic and non-therapeutic settings.

The panel reached the following conclusions after evaluating data on methylphenidate:

There is minimal concern for methylphenidate-induced growth restriction in humans at standard therapeutic doses.

There is negligible concern for methylphenidate-induced tics and movement disorders in humans at standard therapeutic doses.

The final reports from all the evaluations are posted on the CERHR web site at http://cerhr.niehs.nih.gov and are available in print from the CERHR. A list of suggested critical data needs is located at the end of chapter five. These are additional experiments suggested by the panel. For more information, contact Michael Shelby, CERHR director at 919-541-3455 or Shelby@niehs.nih.gov.



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