A new scientific study finds that children who have autism in the U.S usually take one, two or more prescription drugs; however, little proof exists concerning the medications’ efficacy and safety for treatment of neurodevelopmental conditions.
A recent study of nearly 34,000 kids having an autism spectrum disorder found that almost two-thirds were recommended at least one drug. More than one-third of the children in that group were given two drugs, and one kid in seven took three medications.
Dr. Anjali Jain, the study’s leading author and the Falls Church’s managing consultant, asserted that there are several children getting treatment with psychotropic drugs with unfamiliar effects for harms and benefits. She hoped every parent and guardian would consider these drugs with caution.
Children living with autism have impaired social skills and communication, and often show repetitive manners. In the U.S, approximately 1 in 88 kids has undergone diagnosis with the disorder (autism spectrum), which ranges from mild to severe autism.
The study that was recently released online in Pediatrics talked about the usage of psychotropic drugs. These medications for young adults and children with autism include antidepressants, seizure medications, ADHD (attention-deficit or hyperactivity disorder) drugs, antipsychotics, Parkinson’s drugs and lithium. Dr. Jain said that the most commonly prescribed drugs were antipsychotics, ADHD drugs and antidepressants, or their combinations.
Most of these drugs are given for other synchronized disorders like ADHD or depression. According to Dr. Jain, the major problem is in individuals with autism. This is because it can be difficult to differentiate which behavior matches with which disorder.
Dr. Paul Wang who is the senior vice president of an autism advocacy firm agreed with Dr. Jain’s thought. He asserted that it is challenging to diagnose a person in the view of the autism spectrum disorder. This is due to the fact that someone cannot tell if he or she is depressed or anxious.
Wang added that in such cases therefore, it is possible that something completely unrelated is intensifying symptoms. He noted that a number of these children might not have been comprehensively tested for a bodily condition. A person can thus have a kid with an earache who cannot say what is actually happening, and that might manifest as an aggressive or irritable behavior.
Generally, parent training and other behaviorally based treatments are the initial lines of treatment for kids having autism spectrum disorders. However, Dr. Jain noted that since kids with autism are a varied group, it is difficult to develop a therapy that covers each child.
The only drugs accredited by the United States Drug and Food administration for autism spectrum disorders treatment are aripiprazole (Abilify), antipsychotics, risperidone (Risperdal), which are prescribed for treatment of aggression and irritability. Other drugs may be prescribed in what is referred to as an “off-label” treatment.