Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 342-351

First online:

Psychotropic Medication Use Among Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders Enrolled in a National Registry, 2007–2008

  • Rebecca E. RosenbergAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Informatics, Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • , David S. MandellAffiliated withCenter for Mental Health Policy and Services Research, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • , Janet E. FarmerAffiliated withThompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders, University of Missouri
  • , J. Kiely LawAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Informatics, Kennedy Krieger InstituteDepartment of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
  • , Alison R. MarvinAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Informatics, Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • , Paul A. LawAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Informatics, Kennedy Krieger InstituteDepartment of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions Email author 

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Abstract

Patterns of current psychotropic medication use among 5,181 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) enrolled in a Web-based registry were examined. Overall, 35% used at least one psychotropic medication, most commonly stimulants, neuroleptics, and/or antidepressants. Those who were uninsured or exclusively privately insured were less likely to use ≥3 medications than were those insured by Medicaid. Psychiatrists and neurologists prescribed the majority of psychotropic medications. In multivariate analysis, older age, presence of intellectual disability or psychiatric comorbidity, and residing in a poorer county or in the South or Midwest regions of the United States increased the odds of psychotropic medication use. Factors external to clinical presentation likely affect odds of psychotropic medication use among children with ASD.

Keywords

Autism Asperger syndrome Pervasive developmental disorder Medication Health disparity