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Neuropsychiatric profile and psychotropic medication use in adults with autism spectrum disorder: results from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Adults with Autism

  • Rachael C. Cvejic (a1), Samuel R. C. Arnold (a2), Kitty-Rose Foley (a3) and Julian N. Trollor (a4)
Abstract
Background

Children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are a highly medicated group. Few studies have examined the neuropsychiatric profile and patterns of psychotropic medication use among adults with ASD.

Aims

To describe and compare the neuropsychiatric profile and psychotropic medication use in a cohort of adults with ASD and non-autistic controls.

Method

Baseline data from a survey-based, longitudinal study of adults with ASD in Australia. Participants were 188 adults with ASD and 115 controls aged 25–80 years.

Results

ASD was associated with increased odds of psychotropic medication use even when controlling for the presence of any neurological or psychiatric disorder. There were no corresponding indications for 14.4% of psychotropic medications prescribed to adults with ASD.

Conclusions

This study found substantial psychotropic prescribing for adults with ASD. Patterns of psychotropic medication use may reflect prescribing for behavioural indications despite limited evidence to support this practice.

Declaration of interest

None.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Professor Julian Trollor, Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry, 34 Botany Street, UNSW Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. Email: j.trollor@unsw.edu.au
References
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Neuropsychiatric profile and psychotropic medication use in adults with autism spectrum disorder: results from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Adults with Autism

  • Rachael C. Cvejic (a1), Samuel R. C. Arnold (a2), Kitty-Rose Foley (a3) and Julian N. Trollor (a4)
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