Caution urged over SSRI in kids with autism

Australian trial fails to show improvement in obsessive-compulsive behaviours

The antidepressant fluoxetine might not make much difference in reducing obsessive-compulsive behaviours in children with autism spectrum disorders despite being widely prescribed, an Australian study suggests.

Child playing

The research has prompted the lead author, paediatrician Dr Dinah Reddihough from the Royal Children’s Hospital and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, to urge prescribing caution. 

However, she concedes that the SSRI might be helpful for some children.

The research team randomly assigned 146