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A Retrospective Analysis of Quetiapine in the Treatment of Pervasive Developmental Disorders

J Clin Psychiatry 2004;65(11):1531-1536

Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness and tolerability of quetiapine for aggression, hyperactivity, and self-injury in pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs).

Method: The medical records of all patients with PDDs diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria and treated with quetiapine were retrospectively reviewed. Patients who received quetiapine for at least 4 weeks and who were not concurrently treated with another antipsychotic or mood stabilizer were included. Improvement was measured with the Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement scale (CGI-I), with response determined by ratings of "much improved" or "very much improved." Data were collected from May 15, 2003 through November 30, 2003.

Results: Of 857 records reviewed, 20 patients (16 male, 4 female) (mean ± SD age = 12.1 ± 6.7 years; range, 5-28 years) received a quetiapine trial (mean ± SD dosage = 248.7 ± 198.4 mg/day; range, 25-600 mg/day) over a mean duration of 59.8 ± 55.1 weeks (range, 4-180 weeks). Eight (40%) of 20 patients were judged "responders" to quetiapine; the mean CGI-I score for the entire group was 3.0 ± 1.1 (minimally improved). A statistically significant improvement (p = .002) was found between a mean pretrial CGI-Severity of Illness scale (CGI-S) score of 5.1 ± 0.6 (markedly ill) and a posttrial CGI-S score of 4.2 ± 1.1 (moderately ill). Adverse effects occurred in 50% (N = 10) of patients and led to drug discontinuation in 15% (N = 3) of patients.

Conclusion: Quetiapine was modestly effective for maladaptive behavior in patients with a PDD. Controlled studies are needed to further assess these preliminary findings.