Autism Research Institute (ARI) Parent Ratings of Behavioral Effects of Biomedical Interventions

July 7th, 2010

Autism Research Institute ● 4182 Adams Avenue ● San Diego, CA 92116

[Excerpt of article cited from ARI Publ. 34/March 2009]

Download the full article here.

February 2008

The parents of children affected by autism represent a vast and important reservoir of information on the benefits—and adverse effects— of the large variety of drugs and other interventions that have been tried with their children. Since 1967 the Autism Research Institute has been collecting parent ratings of the usefulness of the many interventions tried on their children with autism.

The following data have been collected from the more than 26,000 parents who have completed our questionnaires designed to collect such information. For the purposes of the present table, the parents responses on a six-point scale have been combined into three categories: “made worse” (ratings 1 and 2), “no effect” (ratings 3 and 4), and “made better” (ratings 5 and 6). The “Better:Worse” column gives the number of children who “Got Better” for each one who “Got Worse.”

Drugs

Note: For seizure drugs: The first line shows the drug’s behavioral effects; the second line shows the drug's effects on seizures.

Possible Adverse Effects of Prescription Drugs

Got

WorseA

No

Effect

Got

Better

Better:

Worse

No. of

CasesB

Aderall 43% 25% 32% 0.8:1 775
Amphetamine 47% 28% 25% 0.5:1 1312
Anafranil 32% 38% 30% 0.9:1 422
Antibiotics 33% 53% 15% 0.5:1 2163
AntifungalsC: Diflucan 5% 38% 57% 11:1 653
AntifungalsC: Nystatin 5% 44% 50% 9.7:1 1388
Atarax 26% 53% 22% 0.9:1 517
Benadryl 24% 50% 26% 1.1:1 3032
Beta Blocker 17% 51% 31% 1.8:1 286
Buspar 27% 45% 28% 1.0:1 400
Chloral Hydrate 41% 39% 20% 0.5:1 459
Clonidine 22% 31% 47% 2.1:1 1525
Clozapine 37% 44% 19% 0.5:1 155
Cogentin 19% 54% 27% 1.4:1 186
Cylert 45% 36% 20% 0.4:1 623
Deanol 15% 57% 28% 1.9:1 210
DepakeneD: Behavior: 25% 43% 32% 1.3:1 1071
DepakeneD: Seizures 11% 33% 56% 4.8:1 705
Desipramine 34% 35% 31% 0.9:1 86
DilantinD: Behavior 28% 49% 23% 0.8:1 1110
DilantinD: Seizures 15% 37% 48% 3.3:1 433
Felbatol 20% 55% 25% 1.3:1 56
Fenfluramine 21% 52% 27% 1.3:1 477
Haldol 38% 28% 34% 0.9:1 1199
IVIG 10% 44% 46% 4.5:1 79
KlonapinD: Behavior 28% 42% 30% 1.0:1 246
KlonapinD: Seizures 25% 60% 15% 0.6:1 67
Lithium 24% 45% 31% 1.3:1 463
Luvox 30% 37% 34% 1.1:1 220
Mellaril 29% 38% 33% 1.2:1 2097
MysolineD: Behavior 41% 46% 13% 0.3:1 149
MysolineD: Seizures 19% 56% 25% 1.3:1 78
Naltrexone 20% 46% 34% 1.8:1 302
Paxil 33% 31% 36% 1.1:1 416
Phenergan 29% 46% 25% 0.9:1 301
PhenobarbitalD: Behavior 47% 37% 16% 0.3:1 1109
PhenobarbitalD: Seizures 18% 43% 39% 2.2:1 520
Prolixin 30% 41% 29% 1.1:1 105
Prozac 32% 32% 36% 1.1:1 1312
Risperidal 20% 26% 54% 2.8:1 1038
Ritalin 45% 26% 29% 0.7:1 4127
Secretin: Intravenous 7% 49% 44% 6.3:1 468
Secretin: Transdermal 10% 53% 37% 3.6:1 196
Stelazine 28% 45% 26% 0.9:1 434
Steroids 35% 33% 32% 0.9:1 132
TegretolD: Behavior 25% 45% 30% 1.2:1 1520
TegretolD: Seizures 13% 33% 54% 4.0:1 842
Thorazine 36% 40% 24% 0.7:1 940
Tofranil 30% 38% 32% 1.1:1 776
Valium 35% 41% 24% 0.7:1 865
Valtex 6% 42% 52% 8.5:1 65
ZarontinD: Behavior 35% 46% 19% 0.6:1 153
ZarontinD: Seizures 19% 55% 25% 1.3:1 110
Zoloft 35% 33% 32% 0.9:1 500

Biomedical/Non-Drug/Supplements

Got

WorseA

No

Effect

Got

Better

Better:

Worse

No. of

CasesB

CalciumE: 3% 62% 35% 14:1 2097
Cod Liver Oil 4% 45% 51% 13:1 1681
Cod Liver Oil with Bethanecol 10% 54% 37% 3.8:1 126
Colostrum 6% 56% 38% 6.1:1 597
Detox. (Chelation)C: 3% 23% 74% 24:1 803
Digestive Enzymes 3% 39% 58% 17:1 1502
DMG 8% 51% 42% 5.4:1 5807
Fatty Acids 2% 41% 56% 24:1 1169
5 HTP 13% 47% 40% 3.1:1 343
Folic Acid 4% 53% 43% 11:1 1955
Food Allergy Treatment 3% 33% 64% 24:1 952
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy 5% 34% 60% 12:1 134
Magnesium 6% 65% 29% 4.6:1 301
Melatonin 8% 27% 65% 7.8:1 1105
Methyl B12 (nasal) 15% 29% 56% 3.9:1 48
Methyl B12 (subcutaneous) 7% 26% 67% 9.5:1 170
MT Promoter 13% 49% 38% 2.9:1 61
P5P (Vit. B6) 12% 37% 51% 4.2:1 529
Pepcid 12% 59% 30% 2.6:1 164
SAMe 16% 63% 21% 1.3:1 142
St. Johns Wort 18% 66% 16% 0.9:1 150
TMG 15% 43% 42% 2.8:1 803
Transfer Factor 10% 48% 42% 4.3:1 174
Vitamin A 2% 57% 41% 18:1 1127
Vitamin B3 4% 52% 43% 10.1:1 927
Vitamin B6 with Magnesium 4% 48% 48% 11:1 6634
Vitamin B12 (oral) 7% 32% 61% 8.6:1 98
Vitamin C 2% 55% 43% 19:1 2397
Zinc 2% 47% 51% 22.1:1 1989

Special Diets

Got

WorseA

No

Effect

Got

Better

Better:

Worse

No. of

CasesB

Candida Diet 3% 41% 56% 19:1 941
Feingold Diet 2% 42% 56% 25:1 899
Gluten- /Casein-Free Diet 3% 31% 66% 19:1 2561
Removed Chocolate 2% 47% 51% 28:1 2021
Removed Eggs 2% 56% 41% 17:1 1386
Removed Milk Products/Dairy 2% 46% 52% 32:1 6360
Removed Sugar 2% 48% 50% 25:1 4187
Removed Wheat 2% 47% 51% 28:1 3774
Rotation Diet 2% 46% 51% 21:1 938
Specific Carbohydrate Diet 7% 24% 69% 10:1 278
  1. “Worse” refers only to worse behavior. Drugs, but not nutrients, typically also cause physical problems if used long-term.
  2. Number of cases is cumulative over several decades, so does not reflect current usage levels (e.g., Haldol is now seldom used).
  3. Antifungal drugs and chelation are used selectively, where evidence indicates they are needed.
  4. Seizure drugs: top line behavior effects, bottom line effects on seizures.
  5. Calcium effects are not due to dairy-free diet; statistics are similar for milk drinkers and non-milk drinkers.

Special thanks to the Autism Research Institute for their permission to provide these results to you and for their tireless and wonderful work for children with autism! We could not imagine life without ARI and their influence. God bless Dr. Rimland!

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