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Autism (cont.)

Autism Medical Treatment

Many different biomedical treatments are used in autism. The most widely used are medications to treat seizures and behavioral and emotional problems associated with autism.

What Are Autism Medications?

Medication does not treat the underlying neurologic problems associated with autism. Rather, medication is given to help manage behavioral manifestations of the disorder, such as hyperactivity, impulsivity, attention difficulties, and anxiety. In most cases, medication is given to lessen these problems so that the person can receive maximum benefit from behavioral and educational approaches.

Medications used in autism are psychoactive, meaning they affect the brain. Those used most often include the following:

Very few of these drugs have been tested in scientific studies in individuals with autism.

  • Moreover, issues related to dosage (especially important in children), monitoring, and interactions with other drugs and foods are concerns, as are short- and long-term side effects.
  • Many of these medications have side effects such as sleepiness (sedation) or trouble sleeping (insomnia), weight loss or weight gain.
  • Infrequently, dependence may develop with some of these drugs.
  • These medications should be prescribed only by a medical professional experienced in treating persons with autism.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/11/2015

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Pervasive Developmental Disorder: Autism »

Autism is a condition that manifests in early childhoodand is characterized by qualitative abnormalities in social interactions, marked aberrant communication skills, and restricted repetitive and stereotyped behaviors.

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