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Med Princ Pract 2008;17:415–418

Olanzapine in the Treatment of Behavioral Problems Associated with Autism: An Open-Label Trial in Kuwait

Fido A.a · Al-Saad S.b
aDepartment of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Health Sciences Centre, Kuwait University, and bKuwait Autism Center, Kuwait
email Corresponding Author

 goto top of outline Key Words

  • Autism
  • Olanzapine
  • Atypical antipsychotic agent
  • Kuwait, clinical trial

 goto top of outline Abstract

Objectives: To study the efficacy and safety of olanzapine for the treatment of children with autism associated with disruptive behavior problems. Subjects and Methods: A prospective open-label trial was conducted on 40 male children (mean age 12.2 ± 2.2 years, range 7–17 years) meeting Diagnostic Statistical Manual IV criteria for autism. After a washout period from previous medications (2–14 days), patients received olanzapine (5–10 mg/day) for a 13-week treatment period. The primary efficacy measures were Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) and Clinical Global Impressions-Severity (CGI-S) done at baseline and end of treatment. At the beginning and end of treatment, patients underwent laboratory and physical investigations: ECG, chest X-ray, urinalysis, serum chemistry, blood glucose and lipid profile, hematology and hepatitis B serology. Results: Paired comparison of baseline and 13-week endpoint scores showed significant reductions in ABC subscale scores for irritability (p < 0.0001), lethargy (p < 0.0001), stereotyped behavior (p < 0.005), hyperactivity (p < 0.0001) and inappropriate speech (p < 0.005). Of 40 patients, 12 (30%) were considered as ‘improved’ on CGI-S scores compared to baseline, a statistically significant difference (p < 0.05). No liver enzyme elevation or any other serum biochemical changes resulted from treatment, which was not associated with significant body weight changes or any other treatment-emergent side effects. Conclusions: The study shows that olanzapine treatment can be beneficial in alleviating some behavioral symptoms (irritability, hyperactivity/noncompliance and lethargy/withdrawal) associated with autism. The short period of this trial limits inferences about adverse effects such as body weight increase and tardive dyskinesia. Further long-term placebo-controlled studies of olanzapine are required.

Copyright © 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel

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 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Dr. Abdullahi Fido, MD, MRCPsych
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Health Sciences Centre
Kuwait University, PO Box 24923
Safat 13110 (Kuwait)
Tel. +965 533 0467, Fax +965 533 8904, E-Mail

 goto top of outline Article Information

Received: July 18, 2007
Revised: October 9, 2007
Published online: August 06, 2008
Number of Print Pages : 4
Number of Figures : 0, Number of Tables : 1, Number of References : 28

 goto top of outline Publication Details

Medical Principles and Practice (International Journal of the Kuwait University Health Sciences Centre)

Vol. 17, No. 5, Year 2008 (Cover Date: August 2008)

Journal Editor: Owunwanne A. (Kuwait)
ISSN: 1011–7571 (Print), eISSN: 1423–0151 (Online)

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