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Pharmacologic Treatment of Behavioral Symptoms in Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Robert L. Findling, MD

Published: December 15, 2005

Article Abstract

Autism and other pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) are associated with various dysfunctionaland problematic behaviors, in addition to the core features of language and social skills dysfunctionthat define these conditions. Although there is currently no pharmacologic cure for the corefeatures of PDDs, some of the behavioral symptoms may be treated pharmacologically. In addition torelieving some of the daily stress in the lives of patients and their families, improvement of these behavioralsymptoms, which include hyperactivity, aggression, tantrums, and self-injury, removes someof the hindrances to other rehabilitative efforts. This article discusses the efficacy and tolerability ofvarious medications and alternative interventions in addressing the symptoms of autism and otherPDDs.

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