MONDAY, Oct. 9, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- The adult antipsychotic drug Risperdal (risperidone) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat behaviors associated with autism in children and adolescents.
Symptoms of the disorder include irritability, aggression, deliberate self injury, and temper tantrums.
Risperdal, a Janssen Pharmaceuticals drug, has been sanctioned since 1993 for adults with schizophrenia, and since 2003 for manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder.
Risperdal was clinically tested among 156 people aged five to 16, 90 percent of whom were under age 13, the FDA said in a statement. The studies showed children on Risperdal achieved significantly improved scores for behavioral symptoms of autism, compared with those who took a non-medicinal placebo.
Common side effects of the drug included drowsiness, constipation, fatigue, and weight gain.
To learn more about autism, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.