Aripiprazole, one of two autism drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat irritability in people with autism, may be no more effective than a placebo in the long run for some children, reports a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. When taken for eight weeks or less, aripiprazole quiets tantrums, stabilizes rapid mood swings and abates self-injuring behaviors in children with autism. But the benefits of this antipsychotic drug can fall off after several months, according to the new study. Aripiprazole is the second-most-prescribed drug in the U.S. for both children and adults with the disorder.
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