Atypical antipsychotics have become indispensable in the treatment of a variety of symptoms in autism. They are frequently used to treat irritability and associated behaviors including aggression and self injury. They may also be efficacious for hyperactivity and stereotyped behavior. This review presents the rationale for the use of this drug class in autism and reviews the most important studies published on this topic to date. Significant adverse effects, including weight gain and the possibility of tardive dyskinesia, are reviewed. Future research directions are discussed.
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