Prozac for Autistic Relief

Autism spectrum disorder patients receive relief from drug fluoxetine

(RxWiki News) Although the drug Prozac is well established as an effective therapy for depression, researchers may have found another use.

The American Journal of Psychiatry highlights a study of fluoxetine on patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Branded as Prozac, Rapiflux, Sarafem, and Selfemra, the drug showed positive results in eliminating repetitive behaviors.

"Ask your physician about fluoxetine for repetitive autism symptoms."

A double-blind trial of fluoxetine examined the effects of the novel drug on twenty-two adults over twelve-weeks while fifteen individuals acted as placebo-controls. A fixed schedule delivered doses of ten milligrams per day, increasing up to eighty milligrams as tolerated.

The Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale measured repetitive behaviors while the Clinical Global Impression scale measured improvement in their obsessive compulsive symptoms.

Eric Hollander, M.D., lead-author and psychiatrist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, explains that the study showed “a significant treatment-by-time interaction indicating a significantly greater reduction in repetitive behaviors across time for fluoxetine than for placebo [patients].”

During the twelve-week treatment, fluoxetine influenced improvements in roughly fifty-percent of patients’ obsessive-compulsive symptoms with only mild or moderate observable side effects. Doctors noted the treatment to take well; significantly better than a trial involving citalopram for childhood autism.

Overall, Dr. Hollander and his team found “fluoxetine treatment, compared to placebo, resulted in significantly greater improvement in repetitive behaviors, according to both the Yale-Brown compulsion subscale and CGI rating of obsessive-compulsive symptoms, as well as on the CGI overall improvement rating.”

With such results, be sure to ask your doctor about fluoxetine if your loved one exhibits consistent obsessive compulsive or repetitive behaviors.

Review Date: 
December 5, 2011