PLEASE READ THIS ARTICLE AS A STARTING POINT

This page is dedicated to all the medication research surrounding ASD and the treatment of ASD symptoms through pharma. As of this writing it is a work in progress, and I will try to keep it updated as I run into important information.

My personal opinion on this really does not matter, as each person must make the decision to use drugs to treat symptoms based on their own instincts and research. That said, my opinion is always sought, so I offer it as an FYI.

I used drugs (SSRIs) recently to try to relieve the anxiety I had after my father's death, so for me to say I am 100% opposed to them would be silly. I am, however, as a general rule opposed to the use of medication whenever there is an alternative that will work just as well. It is my experience in life that I can treat most of my symptoms better than pharma by taking care of the basics: FOOD, SLEEP and EXERCISE. If I have my diet and food correct and my intake/output systems are working, that is the first step. Exercise is the next step, and finally I attack my sleep habits. If any of these things is off, my ASD symptoms will flare. Most every parent who has asked me about drugs has NOT done proper elimination of triggers surrounding these three areas. Besides these three areas, there are accommodations for sensory input to do before trying drugs.

With that out of the way, here is the current research that I am keeping an eye on today.

Some really good high-level research papers:
Psychopharmacology and Aggression in ASD Kids and Teens

Not "free text" but the BEST breakdown I have seen of all the ASD/medication research available today:
Psychotropic Medications in Children with ASD

‍‍Here is the "net" picture from that published study that breaks it all down:
Level of Evidence Summary ‍‍

End result is that only 2 of the total tried drugs show results of any sort. GREAT stuff.

Another breakdown of multiple studies here:
Therapies for Children With ASD

QUOTE from that page:
"Research found that two antipsychotic drugs – risperidone (Risperdal®) and aripiprazole (Abilify®) – can help reduce emotional distress, aggression, hyperactivity, and self-injury. Many people who take risperidone and aripiprazole report side effects such as weight gain, sleepiness, tremors, and abnormal movements. Because of this, these medicines may be best only for children who have more severe symptoms or have symptoms that might increase their risk of hurting themselves.

•SRIs and a hyperactivity medicine called methylphenidate (Ritalin®), have not been studied enough to know if they help treat ASD symptoms.

•Research showed that secretin is not effective in improving autistic symptoms.

•Research also does not support the use of chelation for ASD. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, there are serious safety issues associated with chelation products. Even when used under the care of a doctor, these products can cause serious harm, including dehydration, kidney failure, and death."

I think that one of the best things one can possibly do, given the sparse actual studies/data re: meds and autism, is to listen to ASD adults about their experiences. What a parent or doctor has to say about a drug's effectiveness is less important to me if we are going for "stories" instead of science.

Other Resources:
Autism and Medication article (GREAT read!)
One of the MANY threads on drug usage on Wrong Planet
Personal story from a parent who uses meds (good read)
Bill gives his "bit" on meds and ASD (I agree 100% with him on all these points)
Medication and ASD (focus on behavior instead of root cause)
Oxycotin Facts (it is NOT what newspapers say)