Treatment With Buspirone in a Patient With Autism
Louis H. McCormick, MD
Arch Fam Med. 1997;6(4):368-370.
This study evaluates the safety and efficacy of buspirone hydrochloride for the treatment of a patient with autism and hyperactivity disorder and determines the effect of buspirone on the number of performance tasks completed by the patient at school. A 3-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study was performed in a private physician, office-based practice. A child with autism, which was diagnosed by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition, Revised, criteria, was studied. The child received placebo for 3 weeks and buspirone for 3 weeks; there was a 1-week interval between the 2 treatments. The outcome was measured by using Conners abbreviated parent and teacher questionnaires and by determining the number of daily performance tasks completed by the child at school. Statistical analysis was performed by linear models and standard F tests. Buspirone was found to be safe and efficacious, without side effects, for decreasing hyperactivity and increasing completed performance tasks. The beneficial effects of buspirone in helping this patient with autism in his natural daily settings suggest that buspirone may be an alternative to neuroleptic agents in the medical therapy of autism; further study in other patients is needed.
From the Family Care Center, Franklin, La.
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