Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children with autism frequently receive psychotropic medications

Date:
May 2, 2010
Source:
American Academy of Pediatrics
Summary:
A new study shows that use of psychotropic medications is common among children with ASD, with 27 percent of those enrolled in the network registry receiving at least one medication to manage their behavior. The most common reasons for medication use were hyperactivity, repetitive behaviors, irritability and attentional concerns.

Behavioral interventions typically are the first line of treatment to manage unwanted behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). If behaviors do not improve, medications frequently are added to the mix.

Research conducted by Autism Speaks' Autism Treatment Network (ATN) shows that use of psychotropic medications is common among children with ASD, with 27 percent of those enrolled in the network registry receiving at least one medication to manage their behavior. The most common reasons for medication use were hyperactivity, repetitive behaviors, irritability and attentional concerns.

Results of the study, and three others conducted by the ATN, was presented May 2 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

An estimated one in 110 U.S. children has autism, a group of complex developmental brain disorders that affect behavior, social skills and communication.

Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only two medications to treat certain symptoms seen in ASD, many other medications are used to treat a variety of symptoms exhibited by these children.

ATN researchers sought to identify which medicines are prescribed for children on the autism spectrum and how frequently they are used. The ATN, which includes 14 treatment and research centers in the United States and Canada, enrolls patients ages 2-18 years with a diagnosis of autism, Asperger's syndrome or pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).

Medication data were available for 415 children in the registry. Results showed that 112 (27%) were receiving at least one psychotropic medication for their behavior. Of these 112 children, 46% were taking two or more medications.

In addition, medication use was more common in older children: 60 percent of youths ages 11 and older took at least one medication compared to 44 percent of children ages 6-10 years, 11 percent of those ages 3-5 and 4 percent of children younger than 3.

The most common medications prescribed were stimulants, which are used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Symptoms of ADHD are among the most common problem behaviors reported by parents of children on the autism spectrum.

Risperidone, an atypical antipsychotic, also was prescribed frequently. The FDA has approved risperidone for the treatment of irritability, including aggression, temper tantrums, self-injurious behavior and quickly changing moods associated with ASD.

"Additional research to better define which children with ASD and to identify which specific symptoms respond best to which medication would improve treatment decisions for this population," said Daniel Coury, MD, medical director of the ATN and professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at The Ohio State University.

Autism Speaks' Autism Treatment Network (ATN) is the first network of hospitals and physicians dedicated to developing a model of comprehensive medical care for children and adolescents with autism. The ATN offers families care from doctors highly experienced in helping individuals with autism and providing treatment for associated conditions such as gastrointestinal and sleep disorders, while disseminating best practices to the greater medical community.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Pediatrics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Pediatrics. "Children with autism frequently receive psychotropic medications." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100502080228.htm>.
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2010, May 2). Children with autism frequently receive psychotropic medications. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100502080228.htm
American Academy of Pediatrics. "Children with autism frequently receive psychotropic medications." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100502080228.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins