Hempstead, NY—With about 10% of young people treated with an antipsychotic also diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or intellectual disability, the drugs are prescribed to about one in six of those with autism spectrum disorder, according to a report in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, which also notes that the percentages are increasing. Second-generation antipsychotics are approved by the FDA for the symptomatic control of irritability and aggression but do not have an indication for youth with intellectual disability, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine researchers and colleagues point out. Based on their meta-analysis of 39 studies and more than 350,000 youths with mental illness, the study team recommends careful risk-benefit analysis before prescribing the drugs in autism spectrum disorder, as well as monitoring of side effects.

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