Despite limited evidence supporting the practice, researchers say nearly two-thirds of children with autism are taking at least one psychotropic drug.
In a review of medical and pharmacy claims data for 33,565 kids with autism between 2001 and 2009, researchers found that 64 percent of children on the spectrum were prescribed at least one psychotropic medication.
What’s more, the study published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics, found that 35 percent of kids with the developmental disorder were given two or more types of drugs simultaneously and 15 percent were taking at least three.
A previous study of more than 60,000 children with autism insured by Medicaid found that 56 percent were taking psychotropic medications. The findings are similar to those of the current study — which included only privately-insured kids — suggesting that children with autism are being advised to take the drugs at similar rates regardless of their insurer, the researchers said.