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Original Research

The Effect of a Switch to Ziprasidone in an Adult Population With Autistic Disorder: Chart Review of Naturalistic, Open-Label Treatment

Seth A. Cohen, MD; Brian J. Fitzgerald, PharmD; Shirin R. F. Khan, BA; and Arif Khan, MD

Published: January 1, 2004

Article Abstract

Background: The present investigation retrospectively assessed the effect of an open-label switch to ziprasidone from other atypical antipsychotics on behavior, weight, and lipid levels in an adult population with autistic disorder.

Method: We conducted a chart review of 10 adults (mean ± SD age = 43.8 ± 6.0 years) with DSM-IV autistic disorder who were switched from other atypical antipsychotics to ziprasidone, primarily due to weight gain, but other reasons included hypercholesterolemia, maladaptive behaviors, drowsiness, and depression. They had been treated with ziprasidone for at least 6 months. Our review focused on frequency of maladaptive behaviors, weight, and lipid levels.

Results: The mean ± SD daily dose of ziprasidone was 128 ± 41 mg, and all 10 patients continued with this same treatment after completion of the 6-month trial. Seven patients were found to have an improvement or no change in their maladaptive behavior. Eight patients (80%) lost weight (mean change = -13.1 ± 7.0 lb [5.9 ± 3.2 kg]), 4 (80%) of 5 patients had a decrease in total cholesterol level, and 3 (60%) of 5 had a decrease in triglyceride levels. Data on lipid levels were available for 5 of the 10 patients. Behavioral activation was not noted in this population. There were no significant adverse effects associated with ziprasidone.

Conclusion: In adults with autism, a switch to ziprasidone from other atypical antipsychotics appears to have the potential for maintaining beneficial effect on behavior while improving major health indices including weight and lipid levels.

Volume: 65

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