Is Risperdal Safe for Children With Autism?
Risperdal (Respond) is an antipsychotic drug that can relieve symptoms and improve behavior in kids with autism.
A review performed in 2007 of the research literature concerning the use of Risperdal included studies on the drug’s effectiveness compared to a placebo.
Studies indicated that Risperdal’s patients experienced less irritability, repetitive behavior, and hyperactivity, along with some immediate side effects such as weight gain.
Because these studies used small samples, there is a need for more and broader studies that will investigate the long-term effects of drug use versus risks and side effects.
Since 2007, new studies have been published exploring the long-term (two-year) benefits of Risperdal, but since some were not meticulously designed, they were not included in the Cochrane
Therefore, due to these reasons mentioned above, clinicians are the ones that determine whether to use Risperdal or not. They are taking into consideration Risperdal’s positive effects and its side effects.
It is important to note that in 2006 the FDA listed irritability associated with autism in children and adolescents aged 5-16 years as one of the indications for Risperdal treatment.