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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1995 Dec;34(12):1672-81.

Psychotropic and anticonvulsant drugs in subjects with autism: prevalence and patterns of use.

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Nisonger Center, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210-1296, USA.



To survey the prevalence and patterns of psychotropic and anticonvulsant medication and vitamin treatments in patients with autism.


Caregivers of 1,595 index cases were sent survey questionnaires by mail, and repeat questionnaires were sent twice if no reply was received.


A total of 838 care providers (53%) responded to the survey. In all, 33.8% of the sample was taking some psychotropic drug or vitamin for autism or associated behavioral/psychiatric problems. A total of 19.2% reported having epilepsy, but only 13.2% were taking anticonvulsant drugs. More than 50% of the sample was taking some psychotropic, antiepileptic, vitamin, or "medical" agent. Of the agents taken, care providers were most satisfied with anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and stimulants. The use of each drug group was analyzed with respect to subject and demographic variables to evaluate medication patterns within this population.


As in the often related clinical population of mental retardation, psychotropic medication appears to be heavily used in patients with autism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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