An update on pharmacotherapy for autism spectrum disorder in children and adolescents

  title={An update on pharmacotherapy for autism spectrum disorder in children and adolescents},
  author={Na Young Ji and Robert L. Findling},
  journal={Current Opinion in Psychiatry},
Purpose of review Although there is no known efficacious pharmacotherapy for core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), psychotropic medications are commonly prescribed for behavioral/emotional symptoms associated with ASD. We reviewed current evidence-based pharmacotherapy options and updates from recent noteworthy studies. Recent findings Atypical antipsychotics, particularly risperidone and aripiprazole, are effective in reducing irritability, stereotypy and hyperactivity. Metabolic… 
An update on pharmacotherapy of autism spectrum disorder in children and adolescents
Evidence supports use of methylphenidate and atomoxetine for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms and clonidine and guanfacine ER appear to be helpful, and Melatonin can be helpful in reducing sleep problems.
Recent Advances in the Pharmacological Management of Behavioral Disturbances Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children and Adolescents
The goal of this review is to provide an overview of the current evidence base for commonly used treatments, as well as emerging treatment options for common behavioral disturbances seen in youth with ASD.
Pharmacological management of behavioral disturbances in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders.
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An Introduction to the Psychopharmacology of Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder.
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The evidence indicates that the thoughtful use of psychiatric medication in conjunction with other interventions may be beneficial in helping children and adolescents with ASD thrive at school and home.
Effective Medications for Treating Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
This chapter highlights the efficacy and effectiveness of psychotropic medications used in the treatment of school-aged children with ASD and the intended and side effects of medication treatments commonly used to treat associated symptoms of ASD.
Use of Psychotropic Drugs among Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Denmark: A Nationwide Drug Utilization Study
Psychotropic drug use has increased in children with ASD mainly due to an increase in the use of ADHD medication and melatonin, and the long treatment duration underlines the need to investigate long-term effects of psychotropics.
Challenges and Promises of Pediatric Psychopharmacology.
Head-to-Head Comparison of Aripiprazole and Risperidone in the Treatment of ADHD Symptoms in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and ADHD: A Pilot, Open-Label, Randomized Controlled Study
This open-label pilot study confirms the efficacy of both aripiprazole and risperidone in ameliorating ADHD symptoms of children also presenting with ASD.
Potential Effect of Pharmacotherapy on Sympathetic Arousal in Autism
Findings could help to determine differences in sympathetic arousal in treated and non-treated children with ASD, which is important for assessment of autism-linked cardiovascular risk depending on pharmacotherapy, and a potential ameliorated treatment effect on sympathetic aroused in ASD.


Tricyclic antidepressants for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in children and adolescents.
There was evidence of improvement in autistic symptoms, irritability and obsessive-compulsive disorder type symptoms, but conflicting evidence in relation to hyperactivity across the two studies, and no significant changes found with inappropriate speech.
Risperidone in children with autism and serious behavioral problems.
Risperidone was effective and well tolerated for the treatment of tantrums, aggression, or self-injurious behavior in children with autistic disorder and the benefit was maintained at six months.
Are opioid antagonists effective in attenuating the core symptoms of autism spectrum conditions in children: a systematic review.
Naltrexone may improve hyperactivity and restlessness in children with autism but there was not sufficient evidence that it had an impact on core features of autism in majority of the participants.
Positive effects of methylphenidate on hyperactivity are moderated by monoaminergic gene variants in children with autism spectrum disorders
For this first MPH pharmacogenetic study in children with ASD, multiple monoaminergic gene variants may help explain individual differences in MPH’s efficacy and tolerability.
A Placebo Controlled Crossover Trial of Liquid Fluoxetine on Repetitive Behaviors in Childhood and Adolescent Autism
Low-dose liquid fluoxetine in low doses is more effective than placebo in the treatment of repetitive behaviors in childhood autism and was marginally superior to placebo on a composite measure of global effectiveness.
Ziprasidone in adolescents with autism: an open-label pilot study.
Ziprasidone shows promise as a treatment for adolescents with autism, and the QTc increased by a mean of 14.7 msec, and more definitive trials are needed.
Lack of efficacy of citalopram in children with autism spectrum disorders and high levels of repetitive behavior: citalopram ineffective in children with autism.
Results of this trial do not support the use of citalopram for the treatment of repetitive behavior in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders.
Effects of extended release methylphenidate treatment on ratings of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and associated behavior in children with autism spectrum disorders and ADHD symptoms.
The results of this study suggest that MPH formulations are efficacious and well-tolerated for children with ASD and significant ADHD symptoms.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for autism spectrum disorders
The Cochrane review found that there were few trials, most of which were small, of uncertain quality and had used a wide variety measure to measure a wide range of outcomes, and it cannot advise the universal use of serotonin enhancing drugs for children who have autism and no other conditions.
Use of Psychotropic Medication in Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders
A parent report of comorbid diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, or anxiety was associated with a high rate of use, with 80% receiving ≥1 psychotropic medication.