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EVENTS Archive
Seminar - Rationale for the Use of Antipsychotic Medications in Autism
Date: April 25, 2008
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: Matheson Hall, Room: 109

Richard P. Malone, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry
Drexel University College of Medicine

Autistic disorder is a serious childhood-onset disorder that affects all areas of development, particularly in the areas of language, communication, and reciprocal social interaction. Patients with autistic disorder typically demonstrate repetitiveness and a restricted repertoire of behavior. Additionally, they also have a number of disruptive symptoms that may be reduced by drug treatment including severe tantrums, hyperactivity and lability. The antipsychotic drugs are the drugs that are the most critically studied as treatments for reducing symptoms. Both the first generation and second generation antipsychotic drugs have shown safety and efficacy in short and long-term studies in autism. The most studied antipsychotic drugs include haloperidol and risperidone, though studies of other antipsychotic drugs are underway. Safety concerns associated with treatment include the risk of drug-related dyskinesias, which is greater with the first generation drugs, and the risk of weight gain and associated metabolic problems (i.e., increases in glucose and lipids), which is greater with second generation agents. Prescription of antipsychotic drugs requires careful monitoring because of these safety risks.

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