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Dietary Status And Impact Of Risperidone On Nutritional Balance In Children With Autism: A Pilot Study

Ronald L. Lindsay, L. Eugene Arnold, Michael G. Aman, Benedetto Vitiello, David J. Posey, Christopher J McDougle, Lawrence Scahill, Maryellen C Pachler, James T. McCracken, Elaine Tierney, Dawn R Bozzolo
Published 2006 · Medicine
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Abstract Background Risperidone may be effective in improving tantrums, aggression, or self‐injurious behaviour in children with autism, but often leads to weight gain. Method Using a quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ), we prospectively examined the nutritional intake of 20 children with autism participating in a randomised placebo‐controlled trial of risperidone for disruptive behaviours. Results At baseline, the mean intakes for macronutrients, vitamins and minerals exceeded Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs). However there was substantial inter‐participant variability, with individual deficiencies (<80% of DRI) in the intake of calcium (9 of 20 participants), pantothenic acid (6 of 20), vitamin D (5 of 20) and vitamin K (8 of 20). For the participants for whom FFQs were available, there was an increase in weight and an increase in vitamin K intake after 2 months of risperidone treatment (n = 9) compared to placebo (n = 8). An additional 4 months of risperidone treatment (n = 8) did not result in significant changes in reported nutritional balance. Conclusion These pilot data suggest that treatment with risperidone did not significantly affect the nutritional balance of this small group of children.
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