Long-term effects of risperidone in children with autism spectrum disorders: a placebo discontinuation study.
ABSTRACT The short-term benefit of risperidone in ameliorating severe disruptive behavior in pediatric patients with autism spectrum disorders is well established; however, only one placebo-controlled, long-term study of efficacy is available.
Thirty-six children with an autism spectrum disorder (5-17 years old) accompanied by severe tantrums, aggression, or self-injurious behavior, started 8-week open-label treatment with risperidone. Responders (n = 26) continued treatment for another 16 weeks, followed by a double-blind discontinuation (n = 24; two patients discontinued treatment because of weight gain) consisting of either 3 weeks of taper and 5 weeks of placebo only or continuing use of risperidone. Relapse was defined as a significant deterioration of symptoms based on clinical judgment and a parent questionnaire.
Risperidone was superior to placebo in preventing relapse: this occurred in 3 of 12 patients continuing on risperidone versus 8 of 12 who switched to placebo (p = .049). Weight gain, increased appetite, anxiety, and fatigue were the most frequently reported side effects.
This study indicates the effectiveness of risperidone during a period of several months, reducing disruptive behavior in about half of the children with autism spectrum disorders. The results provide a rationale for the continuing use of risperidone beyond 6 months, although considerable weight gain can limit the use of this agent.
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ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of risperidone in treating irritability and related behaviors in children and adolescents with autistic disorders. Methods: In this 6 month (26 week) open-label extension (OLE) study, patients (5-17 years of age, who completed the previous fixed-dose, 6 week, double-blind [DB] phase) were flexibly dosed with risperidone based on body weight. The maximum allowed dose was 1.25 mg/day for those weighing 20 to <45 kg, and 1.75 mg/day for those weighing ≥45 kg. The study primarily assessed risperidone's safety; efficacy was assessed as a secondary end-point. Results: Fifty-six (71%) out of 79 enrolled patients completed the OLE; the most common discontinuations were for insufficient response (7 [9%]) or adverse events (AE) (5 [6%]). The most common (≥5% frequency in the total group) AEs were increased appetite (11% [n=9]); increased weight and vomiting (9% [n=7] each); sedation, pyrexia, and upper respiratory tract infection (8% [n=6] each); nasopharyngitis (6% [n=5]); and somnolence and fatigue (5% [n=4] each). Extrapyramidal AEs were reported in 6 (8%) patients. Increase in mean weight (11-15%) and body mass index (5-10%) occurred; one patient discontinued because of weight increase. One potentially prolactin-related AE (irregular menstruation) was reported. The risperidone high-dose group had the greatest mean improvement in sleep visual analog scale (24.6). All groups showed additional improvement in efficacy scale scores during the OLE. Conclusions: During this OLE, safety findings with risperidone treatment (maximum weight-based dose of 1.25 mg/day or 1.75 mg/day) were consistent with those observed in the DB phase, and with the current safety information for risperidone in autistic, psychiatric, and behavioral disorders. Patients experienced some additional improvement in irritability and related behaviors. Clinical Trials Registry: This phase-4 study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00576732).Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology 12/2013; 23(10):676-86. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder with indisputable evidence for a genetic component. This work studied the association of autism with genetic variations in neurotransmitter-related genes, including MAOA uVNTR, MAOB rs1799836, and DRD2 TaqI A in 53 autistic patients and 30 healthy individuals. The study also analyzed sequence variations of miR-431 and miR-21. MAOA uVNTR was genotyped by PCR, MAOB and DRD2 polymorphisms were analyzed by PCR-based RFLP, and miR-431 and miR-21 were sequenced. Low expressing allele of MAOA uVNTR was frequently higher in female patients compared to that in controls (OR = 2.25). MAOB G allele frequency was more significantly increased in autistic patients than in controls (P < 0.001 for both males and females). DRD2 A1+ genotype increased autism risk (OR = 5.1). Severity of autism tends to be slightly affected by MAOA/B genotype. Plasma MAOB activity was significantly reduced in G than in A allele carrying males. There was no significant difference in patients and maternal plasma MAOA/B activity compared to controls. Neither mutations nor SNPs in miR-431 and miR-21 were found among studied patients. This study threw light on some neurotransmitter-related genes suggesting their potential role in Autism pathogenesis that warrants further studies and much consideration.The Scientific World Journal 12/2013; 2013:670621. · 1.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) are neurodevelepmental disorders that are characterized by severe deficits in socialisation and communication, and the existence of repetitive and stereotyped interests and behaviours. It is estimated more than 60/100,000 children are suffering from PDD. Comorbid disorders are common in people with PDD, including intellectual deficiency, symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity, aggression and disruption, and pervasive repetitive behaviours or thoughts. These symptoms have a negative impact on the outcome and quality of life of the patients and their caregivers. The first-line management of comorbid disorders in PDD is behavioural intervention, but sometimes this is not sufficient, and the use of pharmacological treatment is needed. We conducted a review of studies of medical treatments used in patients with PDD to establish which treatments show good evidence of efficacy in PDD. We used the Medline database and the following keywords "pervasive development disorders" or "autism spectrum disorders" or "autistic disorder" and "therapy" or "treatment". The treatments that showed the best efficacy on irritability in well-designed studies are second generation antipsychotics, risperidone and aripiprazole. Some studies indicate that haloperidol is efficient as well, but the very high frequency of extra-pyramidal effects limits its use. Methylphenidate has shown some efficacy on impulsivity and hyperactivity in randomised placebo-controlled studies. First data concerning atomoxetine are promising but better-designed studies are needed. Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors: fluvoxamine and fluoxetine have shown some efficacy in the treatment of serious and pervasive repetitive behaviours. Alpha-adrenergic treatments, clonidine and guanfacine, can help in the management of disruptive behaviours in patients with PDD. Data concerning naltrexone are contradictory, indeed many case reports of its efficacy on aggressive (mostly auto-aggressive) behaviours are reported in the literature, but well-designed studies do not find any improvement in patients treated with naltrexone compared with patients treated with placebo. First data concerning ocytocin are promising, indeed, if they were to be confirmed, that would be the first treatment efficient on the core symptoms of PDD.L Encéphale 12/2013; · 0.49 Impact Factor