Asperger Syndrome Medication

AS meds
Other Asperger syndrome therapies

While there is no Asperger syndrome medication specific to treating this pervasive developmental disorder, some people who have this condition can benefit from certain prescriptions. Many people are able to manage the symptoms of Aspergers independently but others may require additional support. The prescriptions treat specific symptoms rather than the disorder.

Asperger Syndrome Medication

Medication commonly prescribed to Asperger patients are combined with treatments in order to achieve the desired results. The first thing to consider is the specific symptoms and behaviors that require attention. The medicine is selected according to the individual's needs.

Medication for Aspergers Syndrome
Medication Generic Name Type
Prozac Fluoxetine SSRI
Paxil Paroxetine SSRI
Zoloft Sertraline SSRI
Celexa Citalopram SSRI
Lexapro Escitalopram SSRI
Risperidal Risperidone Antipsychotic
Abilify Aripiprazole Antipsychotic

SSRI Medications

SSRI medications are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors that are effective in treating many cases of anxiety and depression. The medicine may improve a few of the problematic symptoms of Asperger syndrome including:

  • Repetitive movements
  • Self-stimulatory behaviors
  • Aggression
  • Hyperactivity
  • Self-injurious behaviors
  • Impulsiveness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Research shows that SSRI medications can treat individuals with Aspergers and bipolar disorder. The notion is that an imbalance of neurotransmitters may lead to problems with mood and behavior.


Antipsychotic medications are also considered in Asperger therapies. Thought processes that are typical of Asperger individuals can be the source of great stress. Among the most stressful is transitioning and dealing with changes. There is a significant connection between stress and change for people in general. This stressor is particularly difficult for people diagnosed with Aspergers.

Some behaviors result from thought processes that are obsessive in nature. The individual is unable to tolerate changes in routine and may become fixated on order. Antipsychotics alleviate the anxiety associated with obsessive thinking patterns and compulsive behavior. Other symptoms antipsychotic medications may address include:

  • Irritability
  • Repetitive movements
  • Self-stimulatory behaviors
  • Idiosyncratic thought processes

The effectiveness of antipsychotics is still being researched. A physician may prescribe risperiodone or abilify in very low doses. The individual requires proper evaluation and follow-up to ensure that there are few negative side effects.

Side Effects

Antidepressants and antipsychotic medications have significant side effects to consider. They may include:

  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Irritable mood
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeplessness
  • Changes in appetite

Many people find that the negative side effects are more problematic than the symptoms of the condition. Medicating is not appropriate for everyone in the autism spectrum of disorders and each case requires individual attention. Specifically, children require close monitoring and deliberation.

Medication and Children

The side effects are especially problematic in children. The medicine may be prescribed to children with Aspergers or ADHD. The proper dosage for children may be very difficult to determine and the dose needs to be adjusted as the child grows.

Parents and caregivers are urged to monitor children on these types of medication very carefully. Dramatic negative changes in behavior, worsening of the symptoms or expressed suicidal thinking are important signs that the medication needs to be adjusted or discontinued.

Ongoing Research

Pervasive developmental disorders like Asperger syndrome are enigmatic and this makes determining which medications and interventions to use very difficult. Research is currently investigating the causes of pervasive developmental disorders and which treatments work best for their symptoms.

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Asperger Syndrome Medication