Medical treatments

Some medications can cause a growth deficit. Examples include: 

  • Irradiation: this cancer treatment can cause damage to healthy cells. If the therapy is localised to the brain, the pituitary gland can be affected thus limiting the growth.
  • Immunesuppressants: these drugs are typically used to prevent rejection of transplanted organs and tissues, or for the treatment of auto-immune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn's disease).
  • Corticosteroids: these are types of medication prescribed for a variety of conditions including joint pain and inflammation such as arthritis, allergic reactions, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. Excessive amounts of corticosteroids can cause growth problems.

Always check with your doctor if you feel the medication your child is taking is affecting their growth. They will be able to discuss with you the options to optimally manage your child's condition with the minimal impact on their growth.

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