A head-to-head comparison of aripiprazole and risperidone for safety and treating autistic disorders, a randomized double blind clinical trial.Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2014; 45(2):185-92.CP
Aripiprazole and risperidone are the only FDA approved medications for treating irritability in autistic disorder, however there are no head-to-head data comparing these agents. This is the first prospective randomized clinical trial comparing the safety and efficacy of these two medications in patients with autism spectrum disorders. Fifty nine children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders were randomized to receive either aripiprazole or risperidone for 2 months. The primary outcome measure was change in Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) scores. Adverse events were assessed. Aripiprazole as well as risperidone lowered ABC scores during 2 months. The rates of adverse effects were not significantly different between the two groups. The safety and efficacy of aripiprazole (mean dose 5.5 mg/day) and risperidone (mean dose 1.12 mg/day) were comparable. The choice between these two medications should be on the basis of clinical equipoise considering the patient's preference and clinical profile.