Effect of secretin on children with autism: a randomized controlled trial

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2000 Dec;42(12):796-802. doi: 10.1017/s0012162200001481.


To determine the effect of intravenous porcine secretin on autistic behaviours in children aged 2 to 7 years, the effects of secretin on (1) performance on a standardized language measure, and (2) autistic behaviours, as rated by parents and child development professionals was examined. Employing a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, 95 participants were assigned to one of two groups and administered a single dose of either secretin or placebo. A follow-up assessment was conducted 3 weeks after the injection. No significant differences in language or autistic behaviour measures were observed at the 3-week follow-up between the groups. Also, there was no significant difference in the proportion of individuals who improved by > or = 6 points on the language measure at follow-up. This study showed no significant effects of secretin on children with autism. Our results are consistent with a systematic review of randomized controlled trials evaluating the effect of secretin in children with autism.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autistic Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Language
  • Male
  • Secretin / pharmacology*
  • Secretin / therapeutic use
  • Swine
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Secretin