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, 8 (11), 1579-603

The Status of Pharmacotherapy for Autism Spectrum Disorders


The Status of Pharmacotherapy for Autism Spectrum Disorders

Scott M Myers. Expert Opin Pharmacother.


The use of pharmacologic agents as a component of treatment for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders is common and a substantial body of literature describing controlled and open-label clinical trials now exists to guide clinical practice. Empiric evidence of efficacy of risperidone, methylphenidate and some selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors for maladaptive behaviors commonly associated with autism spectrum disorders has increased substantially in recent years. Preliminary controlled trials of valproate, atomoxetine, alpha-2 adrenergic agonists and olanzapine are promising. In addition to traditional psychotropic medications, investigators have examined the potential role of a variety of agents with glutamatergic or cholinergic mechanisms, and the results warrant further investigation. Although psychotropic medications are effective in treating some important associated behaviors, evidence of significant impact on the core features of autism spectrum disorders is very limited.

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