Various studies have shown the effectiveness of risperidone and fluoxetine in the management of behavioral problems in autism.
The purpose of this study was to compare these two drugs in the management of behavioral problems in autism.
Forty children with autism were divided into 2 groups in a 16-week open trial that compared these two drugs. Parents rated the children using the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) and the Conners’ Parent Rating Scale – Revised (CPRS-R). The author rated the children using the Children’s Psychiatric Rating Scale and Clinical Global Impression (CGI) Scale.
The risperidone group showed significant improvement in areas like irritability and hyperactivity, while the fluoxetine group showed significant improvement in speech deviance, social withdrawal and stereotypy. When the two drugs were compared, fluoxetine showed greater improvement in stereotypy, while both drugs showed improvement on the general autism scale; and on anger, hyperactivity and irritability scales.
In this open trial, both drugs were well tolerated and appeared to be beneficial in the treatment of common behavioral problems in children with autism. Further controlled and double-blind studies in larger samples are warranted.