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J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2004 Fall;14(3):455-63.

Aripiprazole for maladaptive behavior in pervasive developmental disorders.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine and the James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.



The aim of this study was to obtain preliminary data regarding the effectiveness and tolerability of aripiprazole in the treatment of children and adolescents with a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD).


Five youths (mean age, 12.2 years; range, 5-18 years) meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria for a PDD received a naturalistic, open-label trial of aripiprazole (mean dosage, 12.0 mg/day; range, 10-15 mg/day) for a minimum of 8 weeks (mean duration, 12 weeks; range, 8-16 weeks).


All 5 patients were judged to be responders, as determined by a Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement (CGI-I) scale rating of "much improved" or "very much improved." Aripiprazole was well tolerated. No extrapyramidal symptoms or clinically significant changes in heart rate or blood pressure occurred during the short-term trials. Two of 5 patients experienced mild somnolence. Two subjects lost weight, 2 subjects had no change, and 1 subject gained weight (mean change, -8.2 lbs; range, -30 to +1 lb). The weight loss was likely the result of the discontinuation of atypical antipsychotics that had led to significant weight gain.


This case series describes the effectiveness of aripiprazole in the treatment of maladaptive behaviors in 5 patients with a PDD. No significant adverse effects emerged during these short-term trials. Additional research is needed to support these preliminary findings.

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