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J Autism Dev Disord. 1985 Sep;15(3):257-67.

Pharmacological treatment of self-injurious behavior in mentally retarded persons.


Self-injury is a severe behavioral problem commonly observed in institutionalized mentally retarded individuals. While several forms of therapy are available, pharmacological treatment is most often used in institutions to control this behavior. This paper evaluated the clinical and experimental literature on the effects of pharmacotherapy for self-injury. Few general conclusions could be drawn mainly due to the small number of studies and the general lack of methodological rigor of these studies. However, there was some indication that antipsychotics and antimanics may prove to be useful in the treatment of self-injury and warrant further investigation. Several areas of future research were discussed.

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