The effects of risperidone titration on pica in an adolescent with autism

Andrew W. Gardner, Rebecca Ernst, Julia T. O'Connor, Peter T. Daniolos, Varsha Morar, Lindsay P. Richerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pica, or the ingestion of inedible objects, is a common problem in people diagnosed with disabilities. Pica can lead to a variety of health complications including surgical interventions. However, inconsistencies in prevalence data are acknowledged due to the unreliable definitions of pica and the lack of data reported on non-residential individuals.24 Some studies have reported that pharmaceuticals, such as risperidone, can have adverse effects on children with disabilities. The present study provides an overview of the literature reporting the use of risperidone with children diagnosed with Autism and other Pervasive Developmental Disorders, as well as an example of possible counter therapeutic effects of risperidone on the appropriate and inappropriate behavior of a 13-year-old Hispanic female diagnosed with Autism. Measurement of behaviors included direct (i.e. direct observation) and indirect (Conners' Rating Form - Revised) methods. Risperidone had been originally prescribed for hyperactive and aggressive behaviors and dosages were titrated down from .50 mg to no medication over six weeks while data were collected on pica, aggression, and appropriate play behaviors in the home setting. Reliability data were collected for 75% of all sessions with an average of 81% agreement across observers. Results are discussed in relation to adverse effects and the cost/benefit of using risperidone with children diagnosed with Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-150
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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