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Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2006 Jan;15(1):161-75.

An update on pharmacologic treatments for autism spectrum disorders.

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  • 1Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.


Increasingly recognized over the past 20 years, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are heterogeneous. Medication treatments remain fundamentally ameliorative, so prioritizing symptoms and matching medications to the patient's constellation of symptoms remains the psychopharmacologic approach to ASD. Atypical antipsychotic medications and glutamatergic agents are receiving increased attention, and antidepressants are being examined for specific symptoms and for younger patients who have autism. Large multisite networks (Research Units on Pediatric Psychopharmacology; Studies to Advance Autism Research and Treatment) have been constructed to expedite studies to elucidate effective treatments for ASD. Findings from these networks are coupled with those from recent independent trials.

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