Effects associated with on- and off-label stimulant treatment of core autism and ADHD symptoms exhibited by children with autism spectrum disorder

Lucy Barnard-Brak, Tonya N. Davis, Marcelo Schmidt, David M. Richman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Families of children with autism spectrum disorder are barraged by different treatment options. Some of these options have the support of empirical evidence while others do not. Stimulant treatments are typically utilized to treat symptoms of ADHD indicating an on-label use of such treatment. Methods: This study examines the association of stimulant treatment with the on-(symptoms of ADHD) and off-(symptoms of ASD) label symptoms among children with ASD via a non-clinical, population-based sample. Results: Results indicate no significant association of stimulant treatment with a reduction of on- or off-label symptoms among children with ASD. Conclusion: Stimulant medications utilized in the treatment of DSM core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder would be considered an off-label use because there is limited evidence to support that stimulants are effective in treating core symptoms of ASD, which is supported by the results of the current study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-53
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Neurorehabilitation
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • On-off-label medications
  • Psychotropic medications
  • Stimulant medications

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