The Effectiveness of Naltrexone in Treating Task Attending, Aggression, Self-Injury, and Stereotypic Mannerisms of Six Young Males with Autism or Pervasive Developmental Disorders

  • Steven Anderson
  • Ronald Hanson
  • Myron Malecha
  • Arla Oftelie
  • Cynthia Erickson
  • Jane Moore Clark


An 8-week trial of 2 mg/kg/day of naltrexone (Trexan, now called ReVia) was conducted with four males with autism and two males with pervasive developmental disorders. Two dependent measures were employed: (a) direct behavioral measurement conducted by blind observers using videotape recordings of periodic learning task sessions, and (b) performance measures of the learning activity. Direct behavior measures revealed one participant's attending-to-task improved while receiving naltrexone. However, two of the participants' rates of self-injury increased, as did one of those participant's rate of aggression. Significant improvement was observed on performance measures of the learning task; however, the improved performance continued during the non-drug return to baseline for the three participants who experienced this additional condition. Discussion is provided relating these findings to previously published results.

naltrexone autism pervasive developmental disorders aggression self-injury 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Anderson
    • 1
  • Ronald Hanson
    • 1
  • Myron Malecha
    • 1
  • Arla Oftelie
    • 1
  • Cynthia Erickson
    • 1
  • Jane Moore Clark
    • 1
  1. 1.Mount Olivet Rolling AcresVictoria

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