Long-Term Improvement and Safety of Aripiprazole for Irritability and Adaptive Function in Asian Children and Adolescents with Autistic Disorder: A 52-Week, Multinational, Multicenter, Open-Label Study

J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2022 Sep;32(7):390-399. doi: 10.1089/cap.2022.0004.


Objective: Evaluate the long-term improvement and safety of aripiprazole in treating irritability in Asian children and adolescents (6-17 years) with autistic disorder. Methods: A 52-week, open-label, flexibly dosed (2-15 mg/day) study on the improvement and safety of aripiprazole in patients with autistic disorder who had completed an antecedent 12-week open-label study. The evaluation of efficacy was conducted using the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC), Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale, Child Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (CY-BOCS), Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale (VABS), and the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form (PSI-SF). Safety and tolerability measurements included adverse events, vital signs, electrocardiography, laboratory tests, body weight, and extrapyramidal symptoms (EPSs). Results: During the 52-week treatment, all effectiveness variables, including ABC, CGI, CY-BOCS, VABS, and PSI-SF scores, showed improvement. Regarding safety, the proportion of patients who experienced any treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) was 58.62% (34/58 subjects, 75 cases). The most common TEAE was nasopharyngitis reported in 20.69% (15/58 subjects, 15 cases) and the other TEAE with an incidence of ≥10% was weight increases in 18.97% (11/58 subjects, 11 cases). Of them, 27.59% (16/58 subjects, 28 cases) experienced adverse drug reactions (ADRs). The most common ADR was weight increase reported in 15.52% (9/58 subjects, nine cases). The incidence of serious adverse events (SAEs) was 5.17% (3/58 subjects, three cases), which were epiphysiolysis, seizure, and a suicide attempt, but these were not ADRs. There were no clinically significant changes found in the evaluation of EPSs. Conclusions: Aripiprazole showed improvement for behavioral problems and adaptive functioning and was well tolerated in patients with autistic disorder until nearly a year after drug use. The Clinical Trial Registration number: NCT02069977.

Keywords: adaptive function; aripiprazole; children and adolescents; irritability; longterm effect.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antipsychotic Agents* / adverse effects
  • Aripiprazole / adverse effects
  • Autistic Disorder* / drug therapy
  • Basal Ganglia Diseases* / chemically induced
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Irritable Mood
  • Weight Gain


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Aripiprazole

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02069977