Psychotropic Medication Prescription for Autism: Data Sources for Decision Making

  • Chrystal Jansz RiekenEmail author
  • Annette K. Griffith
  • Jacqueline Huscroft D’Angelo
  • Tyler Re


Currently, there are two medications (i.e., risperidone and aripiprazole) with sufficient established evidence for effectively treating related symptoms (i.e., irritability and hyperactivity) of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A recent study on the prevalence of psychotropic medication treatment for children with ASD in the USA found that approximately 65% had filled a prescription for at least one psychotropic medication, 35% filled prescriptions across two medication classes, and 15% filled prescriptions across three or more classes concurrently. While these numbers inform rates of psychotropic medication use among this population, little is known about the prescribing practices of practitioners treating ASD symptoms in pediatric populations. There are currently no known empirical studies examining the prescribing practitioner’s perspective and, as a result, it is not known how prescribers are making psychotropic medication management decisions or what factors may influence those decisions. Therefore, the current study sought to evaluate the degree to which prescribers rated the importance of several sources of information when prescribing and managing psychotropic medication for the treatment of core and secondary symptoms of ASD.


Autism Pediatric Psychotropic Medication Prescribing 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This research involved human participants, and was approved by the Institutional Review Board at the site at which it was conducted. Informed consent was obtained from all participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Texas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA
  2. 2.The Chicago School of Professional PsychologyChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Texas Christian UniversityFort WorthUSA

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