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An open-label trial of escitalopram in pervasive developmental disorders.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago MC 3077, 5841 South Maryland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.



To assess the effect of escitalopram in the treatment of pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs).


This 10-week study had a forced titration, open-label design. Twenty-eight subjects (mean age 125.1 +/- 33.5 months) with a PDD received escitalopram at a dose that increased weekly to a maximum dose of 20 mg as tolerated. The Aberrant Behavior Checklist-Community Version (ABC-CV) and the Clinical Global Impression scale (CGI) were used to assess outcome.


There was significant improvement in ABC-CV Irritability Subscale Scores (baseline mean 20.5 +/- 5.9 to final mean 10.9 +/- 7.2; p < or = .001) and in the other ABC-CV Subscales. Improvement on Clinical Global Improvement Scale severity rating was also significant (baseline mean 5.2 +/- 1.0 to final mean 4.6 +/- 1.2; p < or = .001). Twenty-five percent of the subjects responded at a dose less than 10 mg and did not tolerate the 10-mg dose, and an additional 36% responded at a dose greater than or equal to 10 mg. Final dose was unrelated to weight and only weakly correlated with age.


This open-label study found escitalopram to be useful in treating some difficulties common in PDDs. A wide variability in dose was found that could not be accounted for by weight and only partially by age. The study provides information useful for the design of double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of escitalopram in PDDs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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