FDA Warns Against Autism 'Cures'

Products claiming to cure autism have not been proven safe or effective

(RxWiki News) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers not to be fooled by products claiming to "cure" autism.

In fact, the agency has warned and/or taken action against a number of companies claiming their products could treat or cure autism or autism-related symptoms.

Some of the therapies in question include chelation therapies, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, detoxifying clay baths, raw camel milk and essential oils, according to the FDA.

Chelation therapy products claim to rid the body of toxic chemicals and heavy metals. These products are available in capsules, sprays, suppositories, liquid drops and clay baths. This type of therapy is not approved to treat autism. These products may actually be dangerous if they disturb important minerals the body needs.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing oxygen in a pressurized chamber. The FDA has not approved it to treat autism. 

Detoxifying clay baths are added to bathwater and claim to remove chemical toxins, pollutants and heavy metals from the body. The FDA said these products "are improperly advertised as offering 'dramatic improvement' for autism symptoms."

The FDA stressed the importance of being able to recognize the following product details as red flags:

  • Products claiming to treat a wide range of diseases.
  • Personal testimonials. These are not a substitute for scientific evidence.
  • Products that claim to be a “quick fix.” Few diseases or conditions can be treated quickly. 
  • Products claiming to be a "miracle cure” or a "scientific breakthrough" or those that say they contain secret ingredients. 

The FDA warned consumers not to use any of the above products without first speaking to their health care provider. However, the FDA has approved many medications, such as some antipsychotics, to help some people manage autism symptoms.