Autism Medication

Learn about medications used to treat autism and its symptoms from pediatrician and child development expert Asma J. Sadiq, M.D. in this Howcast video.

Transcript

[Theme music] There's no medication to treat or cure autism, however, medications are used to treat or cure autism. The only medication that is approved for use for children with autism spectrum disorder is Risperdal, and that is for particular aggressive behaviors and irritability. There's is no other medication as I am repeating to cure autism, however, you need to work with the symptoms and if you have a child with who has sleep difficulty, you would work with the sleep difficulty, whether you use magnesium or melatonin, which has been use as a supplement or medication to help with sleep. There's a lot data supporting that because children with autism spectrum have sleep problems and have difficulty with their melatonin and sleep cycle. So providing that kind of support will absolutely help symptoms and help the child's behavior. Other medications not as medications but if a child has seizure for example, you are treating the seizure with an anti-seizure medication, so you are treating the symptom again. If they have gastric reflux or constipation, you are dealing with that particular symptom.

So that's where medications come in for use on a child with autism. Commonly use medications are stimulants for hyper activity and inattention. That again is treating the symptom. Off label use of medications is done off a lot with children and autism being not different. People are using clonidine to help with sleep as well as with hyper activity. There's a whole a whole slew of stimulant and non-stimulant medications, but they are also using nutraceuticals and herbs and Valerian for example as a sleepy time tea as been used to help children sleep. Studies have been done with nutraceuticals and magnesium, zinc as supplements that can be added on and actually medication works better when you have adequate levels of these nutrients. As we know with the use of amphetamines, you have adequate zinc levels because it will make it, you have better response. So the use of the medication is to treat symptoms that are seen in a child with autism spectrum disorder. [Theme music]

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