Aripiprazole for the treatment of irritability associated with autism.Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2011 Mar; 12(4):635-40.EO
Irritability (including tantrums, aggression and moodiness) is often associated with autistic disorder. Children with autism are frequently prescribed atypical antipsychotic medications for these behaviors. Although multiple agents have been found to be effective, the safety and tolerability of each antipsychotic may be the determining factor in its selection.
The pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, safety and efficacy data on aripiprazole for the treatment of irritability associated with autism are discussed. Knowledge of the mechanism of action, advantages and disadvantages relative to other atypical antipsychotics, and an appreciation of the efficacy of aripiprazole when used to treat irritability in autism is also explored in this paper.
Aripiprazole may have a more favorable side-effect profile than another commonly prescribed medication, risperidone, because of its unique mechanism of action. It seems to be effective in treating irritability associated with autism, but more research is needed.