Sex hormones in high doses administered over a period of one to two years are today the only effective medical way to decrease future adult height in excessively tall adolescents. Such treatment is not physiological and should be considered only if a careful growth prediction gives an excessive adult height that is a severe psychological or physical handicap to the patient. The most effective and safest way of treatment is not yet fully worked out, but the principles are simple: The hormone preparations used should be as natural as possible, the dosage as low as possible for producing the desired effect, and treatment should start only after the spontaneous onset of puberty and be discontinued at a bone age of about 15 years in girls and 17 years in boys. The risks are probably similar to those of the contraceptive pill and of pregnancy. The short-term risks are small in the adolescent age period. Fertility does not seem to be impaired. The long-term risks are not yet completely known.
- Copyright © 1978 by the American Academy of Pediatrics