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Cadernos de Pós-Graduação em Distúrbios do Desenvolvimento

Print version ISSN 1519-0307On-line version ISSN 1809-4139


BARROS NETO, Sebastião Gonçalves de; BRUNONI, Decio  and  CYSNEIROS, Roberta Monterazzo. Psychopharmacological approaches to autism spectrum disorder: a narrative review. Cad. Pós-Grad. Distúrb. Desenvolv. [online]. 2019, vol.19, n.2, pp. 38-60. ISSN 1519-0307.

The Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is described as a neurodevelopmental disorder, characterized by a range of social, communicative and behavioral deficits, including restricted, repetitive and stereotyped interests. Symptoms and comorbidities associated with ASD vary in degrees of severity and range from early years to old age, causing developmental impairment and disruption in the daily functions of the individual. Therapeutic approaches of this disorder include educational, psychosocial and pharmacological intervention. In Brazil, only risperidone and periciazine are indicated in the package leaflet and recommended by the National Sanitary Surveillance Agency for autistic symptoms; however, different drugs have been commonly used in clinical practice, aiming at keeping control of aggressiveness, agitation and impulsivity, among other symptoms. Therefore, this study aims at reviewing in psychopharmacological approaches for individuals with ASD. The methodology used was a narrative review of the literature, carried out through searches on electronic databases (Medline/Pubmed). So far, there are no drugs specific to ASD; nevertheless, the diversity of drugs that have been occasionally used off-label to reach certain specific target symptoms is impressive. Therefore, the need for research toward the pharmacological management of specific ASD situations is evident.

Keywords : Autistic disorder; Psychotropic drugs; Psychopharmacology; Pharmacotherapy; Pharmaceutical services.

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