Testing Metformin in Kids Linked to Height Gains
Metformin, a generic drug used to treat type 2 diabetes, may help kids grow taller. Researchers analyzed 10 studies involving 562 children between the ages of 8 and 16, all of whom were prescribed off-label metformin for conditions such as obesity, fatty liver disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, and—in a small number of cases—type 2 diabetes. (The medication is officially indicated to treat only type 2 in adults.) In the five studies using the highest doses of metformin, those taking the drug (for anywhere from six months to four years) grew a little over a third of an inch, on average, more than controls. Over time the added height could total more, researchers say. While the study didn’t look at benefits of the extra height, researchers say it could positively affect body mass index (a ratio of weight to height).
Source: JAMA Pediatrics, published online Sept. 28, 2015