Medications for Asperger's Syndrome

No specific treatment for the core symptoms of Aspergers is available, and no cure exists for the disorder. Educational and behavioral supports are the primary treatments used for chidlren with Aspergers. Psychopharmacology and other treatments may also be used to manage some of the problem behaviors associated with Aspergers. Some Aspergers children are on no medication.

In other cases, we treat specific target symptoms. One might use a stimulant for inattention and hyperactivity. An SSRI such as Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft might help with obsessions or perseveration. The SSRIs can also help associated depression and anxiety. In individuals with stereotyped movements, agitation and idiosyncratic thinking, we may use a low dose antipsychotic such as risperidone.


Comments—

We tried Abilify for my Aspergers son when he was about 16. Although it did make him a bit more comfortable and appropriate socially, it made him very groggy. The right balance of meds is very dependent on the individual. I chose to forego the social gains in favor of keeping him aware more of his involved in life. Tough call.

I've heard both from the Autism Center at the University of Washington and from our meds management PhD that Risperdal (Risperidone) is one of the few meds consistently proven effective in treating autism. It works for my son, although he must take it at bedtime to avoid the sleepiness it otherwise causes. He also takes another mood stabilizer, an SSRI antidepressant, and Straterra (a time-release form of methylphenidate) to aid in concentration. This "cocktail" doesn't resolve all his issues, but he's made tremendous progress while taking it. He's 19 now.

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My son is 8 now and has always been very unique. He has been and continues to be a very challenging child. As in the prior post my son rarely cries if at all and his emotions are typically expressed in angry outbursts. He is an avid reader and loves his computer and video games. He is extremely bright scoring in the 99th percentile nationwide. He hates homework, however and while accepted into an accelerated program at school does not exhibit the typical traits of a "gifted" child. He likes to be alone and will often complain about noise but sometimes noise seems not to bother him in the least. He speaks to others as if he were a 13 or 14 year old boy. He is often disrespectful and seems not to realize that he is offending others.


He has been prescribed Buspar and after only one day's worth of doses, was a completely different child. The medication seemed to work wonders but he complained of muscle spasms and the physician took him off and put him on Clonazepam, which seems to have done absolutely nothing at all. In fact, he complains of frequent headaches and begs not to take the medication. He prefers the Buspar despite the muscle spasms.

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While I was in the hospital for a week the doctors started me on Anafranil and Welbutran. I am curious as to how often doctors prescribe medication for Aspergers Syndrome. According to my doctor the Anafranil is used to help me think less obsessively, and the welbutran is to help cope with the depression that comes along with the social isolation. I think I can cope with Aspergers just fine, but recent circumstances caused me to get way overwhelmed with a lot of stuff causing very severe anxiety.

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