Autism drugs given to children aren’t doing their job

A new study reports that kids that have autism are often prescribed several different mood altering drugs and some of these drugs are administered for significant periods of time. Anti-anxiety and antidepressants are often prescribed to these children such as Adderall, Thorazine, and Haldol. All of these drugs alter behaviour and mood and in most cases none of them have actually been found to help combat or treat autism.

Senior author of the study, Dr. Anjali Jain stated that she is very surprised that psychotropic medications continue to be used for treating children with autism and some from a very young age. She continued to say that some children actually receive more than one at a time even though there is not any research to support this practice. She went on to say that drugs are often used to treat children that show signs of irritability, anxiety, or those that throw tantrums and are perceived as aggressive.

Researchers do not know positively that the drugs are used too often to treat children with autism, but any use in these drugs to treat symptoms in children with autism might be too much because there is actually no evidence that points to their efficacy to treat autism.

As part of the study Jain looked at 33,000 children that were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and found that of these about 63% had received a prescription at some point for a mood altering medication while another third had taken a drug from other classes such as an antidepressant or stimulant while on the first drug. Another 15% received drugs from all three of these classes at the same time. The researchers also discovered that many children on more than one drug took them together for a year or longer.