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Antidepressant Yields Disappointing Results for Autism

Although Celexa is an antidepressant, some doctors have been prescribing it for kids with autism. They thought it would cut down on the repetitive behaviors such as head-banging or rocking so often seen among these youngsters. But a placebo-controlled trial showed disappointing results. 

The investigators who conducted the study were surprised to discover no benefit in the children treated with Celexa for three months. The kids getting Celexa were more likely to experience dry skin, difficulty concentrating and impulsive behavior. Results from this clinical trial contradicted the impressions that doctors and families had gotten that Celexa and similar antidepressants might be helpful in autism. This study showed clearly that Celexa does not control repetitive behaviors.

[Archives of General Psychiatry, June, 2009]


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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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