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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2008 Apr;29(2):75-81.

Stimulant medication treatment of target behaviors in children with autism: a population-based study.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo clinic, College of Medicine, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study provides detailed information about stimulant medication treatment for the target symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, disinhibition, and inattention in children with autism.

METHODS:

In a previous study, 124 subjects fulfilling DSM-IV-based research criteria for autistic disorder were identified among all 0-21 year old residents of Olmsted County, MN from 1976-1997. For each of these 124 children with research-identified autism, information was abstracted on all prescribed psychopharmacological medications.

RESULTS:

Psychostimulants were used to treat 52.4% (N = 65) of the 124 subjects. The median total duration of psychostimulant treatment was 4.0 years. There were 398 episodes of psychostimulant treatment. Favorable responses were associated with 69.4% of treatment episodes. Of the 398 episodes of stimulant treatment, 16.8% were associated with a documented side effect. At least one side effect was experienced by 66% of the children.

CONCLUSION:

These results indicate that psychostimulants are commonly prescribed for children with autism, and suggest that these medications may improve the target symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, disinhibition and inattention.

PMID:
18478626
PMCID:
PMC2585372
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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