Atomoxetine in autism spectrum disorder: no effects on social functioning; some beneficial effects on stereotyped behaviors, inappropriate speech, and fear of change

Myriam Harfterkamp, Jan K Buitelaar, Ruud B Minderaa, Gigi van de Loo-Neus, Rutger-Jan van der Gaag, Pieter J Hoekstra
Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology 2014, 24 (9): 481-5

UNLABELLED: Abstract Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the short-term treatment effects of atomoxetine on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms in children and adolescents with both ASD and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

METHODS: A total of 97 patients 6-17 years of age, with ASD and ADHD, were treated with 1.2 mg/kg/day of atomoxetine during an 8 week double-blind placebo-controlled period. Here, we investigated effects on two parent-based secondary outcome measures, the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) and the Children's Social Behavior Questionnaire (CSBQ).

RESULTS: After 8 weeks of double-blind treatment, atomoxetine administration was associated with significant treatment effects on the ABC subscales Hyperactivity, Inappropriate Speech, and Stereotypic Behavior, and on the CSBQ subscale Fear for Changes.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study results indicate no beneficial effects of atomoxetine on social functioning. However, atomoxetine may ameliorate restricted and stereotyped behaviors and communication. This study has been registered in ( ) under registration number NCT00380692.

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