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J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2011 Dec;21(6):565-9. doi: 10.1089/cap.2011.0034. Epub 2011 Dec 2.

An open-label naturalistic pilot study of acamprosate in youth with autistic disorder.

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Department of Psychiatry, Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center, Indiana University School of Medicine, James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA.


To date, placebo-controlled drug trials targeting the core social impairment of autistic disorder (autism) have had uniformly negative results. Given this, the search for new potentially novel agents targeting the core social impairment of autism continues. Acamprosate is U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drug to treat alcohol dependence. The drug likely impacts both gamma-aminobutyric acid and glutamate neurotransmission. This study describes our initial open-label experience with acamprosate targeting social impairment in youth with autism. In this naturalistic report, five of six youth (mean age, 9.5 years) were judged treatment responders to acamprosate (mean dose 1,110 mg/day) over 10 to 30 weeks (mean duration, 20 weeks) of treatment. Acamprosate was well tolerated with only mild gastrointestinal adverse effects noted in three (50%) subjects.

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