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Psych Drugs' False Promises for Autism

Useless drugs First Prozac failed and now Celexa. Read the full article at WebMD.

June 1, 2009 --The antidepressant Celexa, often prescribed for children with autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to reduce repetitive behaviors, works no better than a placebo, according to a new study.

Even worse, the medication was more likely than the placebo to produce adverse side effects such as increased energy, impulsiveness, and decreased concentration, the researchers found.

The study findings were a surprise, says the study's lead author Bryan H. King, MD, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Seattle Children's Hospital and professor and vice-chairman of psychiatry at the University of Washington School of Medicine. "We were fully expecting to demonstrate the value of this drug," he tells WebMD.


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Heidi N

People who entrust psych medications as being the answer, are definitely missing the boat. The answers are in the cause, and frankly, doctors are suppose to look for these causes and not blindly put people on psych meds. It's not just the pharma companies that are guilty, but also the doctors who think asking a few questions means they have ruled out medical causes as to the cause of the symptoms. When I was young, companies and doctors feared lawsuits from the people, and it made them be more responsible. What happened to those days?

As far as those who think psych meds are necessary to balance neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters come from amino acids which come from digestion. Fixing the digestion or supplementing amino acids would be a more thorough, safe manner as compared to giving psych meds.

My recovered son said the psych meds only caused him to not feel and worked by making him feel tired and off-balance. Basically he said they made him a zombie. Those zombie days are over!

Cherry Sperlin Misra

Gleeful- no- but proud that an American scientist has been honest about his findings and even admitted that it went contrary to his hypothesis. This is the kind of science that we desperately need. Thankyou UW !Thankyou Dr. King! Thankyou AOA for always seeking the truth ! ..( and by the way Im from Seattle)


Constructive autism volunteer,

I second what Carolyn M. wrote. But I will add that, at least for some of us, the "glee" you're picking up on is there, but it's the gallow's humor and deep relief. For more than a decade, the industry had been moving inexorably towards drug mandates for certain "conditions"-- particularly autism-- based on algorithms concocted (or bought) by industry itself.

Some parents who've been easily willing to drug their kids obviously wouldn't be alerted to the move towards mandating, but parents who resist are well aware. Mandates have been effectly actualized through the cooperation of the DOE and social services. There are countless testimonies of families having child protective services sicced on them by public schools for noncompliance with drugging their children and there are stories of adults and children being court ordered to take the drugs based on the accounts of not-financially-disinterested psychiatrists. And when the child dies from serotonin syndrome, sudden cardiac death, respiratory dyskinesia, drug-induced suicide, neuroleptic malignancy syndrome, diabetes or obstructed bowel ( ), the school and "mental health" professionals who pushed the drugs rarely face redress.

But if the drugs are shown to be clinically ineffective-- which numerous independent studies show they are ( ), if the drugs are proven to be dangerous in the worst cases and no better than emotional painkillers in the best, then they *can't be mandated*. Courts and child protective services can't order people to take painkillers and doctors can lose their licenses for overprescribing them or for not properly monitoring patients' use. The same scenario should, by all rights, apply to these drugs. And when that happens, I'll be overjoyed, not just gleeful.

What's more, families with vaccine injured children who suffer from any degree of mitochondrial dysfunction-- as most do-- should know that virtually all of these drugs can induce or worsen mitochondrial disorders on their own. This is known. The only thing that makes this controversial is the raft of tobacco science studies that industry funds to try to lamely refute the fact. The lifespans of people chronically exposed to certain classes of drugs is typically cut short by a quarter century. The suicide rate and rate of general violence from the drugs has risen exponentially.

As it stands, the excessive reliance on drugs for even NT children has created what one researcher called a "bland normalcy" which creates an "inquisitorial environment" towards those children who aren't drugged. It's the new "norm" to have classrooms full of Ritalin zombies and the "freaks" are the healthy, robust children. I'm tired of wondering when the next Columbine or V-tech shooting is going to take place because someone on Celexa or Prozac or Luvox-- or just getting off one or just having changed a dose-- isn't being monitored for violent ideation by some psychiatrist.

It isn't just parents of vaccine injured children who will benefit when research fraud and the drugs are exposed for what they are.


Vaccine Injury is at the root of the chronic diseases with the common denominator of a body overloaded by unresolved autoimmune system responses. The result is Autism, Allergies, Asthma, and on and on... And parents don't know this unless they are in this community researching it. We have to support and strengthen the body and minds of these injured children not mask over the symptoms using psychotropic drugs. I feel the massive drugging approach is as awful as the illegal drug trade going on in this country. Its irresponsible and criminal to prescribe these drugs to our children. We have to get underneath the disorders and get to the root causes. Slow down and connect with the children and responsibly care for them. The drugs just aren't a viable option as they cause too many side effects.

I'm glad they are saying in the research that the drug did not work instead of covering up the results. Does this mean doctors will stop prescribing it however?


This study, as well as the Prozac (SOFIA ) study (cutesy name, yes?) was funded by Autism Speaks. You are in luck- they are enrolling more kids in more drug trials too- sign up here!

Carolyn M.

Constructive Autism Volunteer -

I do not think that any of the responses are particularly "gleeful". What is more likely is that we are relieved that there may be less excuse for a doctor to prescribe an unnecessary medication for our children without first properly investigating in order to determine what the root cause of the problem is. In my experience for example, I had an unnecessary prescription for Risperdal pressed upon me (for my daughter) by a doctor who did not first investigate to determine why my daughter melted down in his office. It turned out that she had 2 molars coming in at the same time, allergy flare-up, and GI tract problems worsening again - all at the same time. Since she did not have enough expressive language to tell anyone that she was in considerable pain, she melted down. In spite of what the doctor commented to me, I have never regretted NOT filling that prescription.

These medications have a distressing tendency to be over-prescribed. They also have many side-effects. Our children do not need to be taking unnecessary medications and piling further problems on top of their other - frequently serious - physical ailments.

Constructive autism volunteer

Why the gleeful response to this report?
Many well meaning families had hopes for these medicinal treatments. How can anybody take delight in their disappointment? We're all groping in the dark and it will stay dark if we continue this childish, ego-driven, my way or the highway approach to finding an answer.
In their haste to trash the pharmaceutical industry, some people are taking their eyes off the ball.


Scroll down to "Celexa" under the "drug" heading for a partial list of murders, suicides and other bizarre behavior which formerly law abiding people engaged in while on Celexa:

The MIT student who self-immolated, Bruce Ivins, the anthrax suspect, infanticides, school shootings and more. And Thomas Insel was "surprised" the drug had adverse effects and thinks the trial subjects were just all having a bad day... I wonder if Insel twiddled his long, black waxed mustache and cried "Curses! Foiled again!" when the drug trial results came in.

`Roger Kulp

Here's the one I saw
"Because citalopram does alleviate repetitive symptoms in some people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), the study results may challenge the idea that the brain circuits responsible for repetitive behaviors in autism are the same as those disrupted in OCD....It gives a neurobiologist something to really think about," says Guoping Feng, associate professor of neurobiology at Duke University Medical Center, who was not involved in the new study. "We have to keep an open mind that there might be other mechanisms [besides those involving serotonin] to repetitive behavior. ... An alternative explanation is that autism stems partly from serotonin abnormalities, but they are more severe or widespread than those in OCD. That would make children with autism less sensitive than people with OCD to the doses used in the study.

Despite the unclear picture of how serotonin abnormalities might play a role in autism, clinicians are not ruling out SSRIs as a treatment for some children with the disorder[

Here's the kicker:
Despite disagreement on how to interpret the study, both Cook and King say they will still prescribe citalopram to some children with autism. That's partly because there are few alternatives: the only drug currently approved for treating autism is the antipsychotic risperidone, which reduces aggression and irritability but often comes with harsh side effects such as jerky movements, dizziness and hyperactivity.
The trouble is,too many of these researchers have as narrow a view of what makes up "autism" as any ND loudmouth does. Where do you think the ND types got their ideas from.Anybody with any "comorbid" conditions,seizures,regression,etc. is excluded from these studies.Never mind bowel disease,heart problems or anything else.It would not occur to these people that flareups of any medical problems make autism symptoms worse.

Lisa in Texas

To "Not Holding My Breath"

I love this quote-

"It is only when you treat vaccinosis and stop calling it by other names such as autism, will you find a way to treat it."

This is great!

Lisa in Texas

Notable comments from Dr. Insel, CHAIR of IACC:

"The results are 'disappointing,' says Thomas Insel, MD, director of the National Institute of Mental Health. "The bottom line is, it doesn't sound like the medication is any better than placebo."
Because repetitive behaviors can be a significant problem, he says, "The question is, is there something else that can be used?"


"Repetitive behaviors related to autism can have an "ebb and flow," Insel says. Children may have been enrolled in the trial when their symptoms are somewhat worse and their symptoms may have improved over time even without the medication."

Dr. Insel, I have spoken as a parent advocate in a few IACC meetings and provided public testimony about how biomedical intervention has been recovering my son and helped to manage his "autistic" like behaviors. I was not the only parent to do this, and I believe there were atleast 10 testimonies in the past meeting. Why are you still thinking that our childrens' behaviors need to be controlled by another pharmaceutical compound? Our childrens' symptoms are due to an underlying neuroimmune disorder. Treating the symptoms, and not treating the underlying immune disorder, is not a long term solution. I encourage you to attend Autism One conference or listen to the presentations from past conferences (available on their website).

Our children are recovering without pharmaceutical drugs.

Not holding my breath

From the article -

"Although other SSRIs may result in a different effect, King says, there is not enough research right now to make a clear recommendation about SSRIs as a class of drugs to treat repetitive behaviors associated with autism."

I wonder how many millions of dollars went into that drug and the study, when any parent of an ASD child (who is being treated for the disorder) can tell you that you cannot suppress viral and bacterial activity with a drug, no matter what its called.

It is only when you treat vaccinosis and stop calling it by other names such as autism, will you find a way to treat it.


Give me the placebo pleassse!

Not only is Celexa ineffective, it can leave a host of lovely side effects in it's wake..

bloody tools, peeling skin, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts? why thank you Pharma.. how thoughtful.. I didn't know you cared (warning: extreme sarcasm).

Celexa (serious side effects):

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); absent menstrual period; bizarre behavior; black or bloody stools; chest pain; confusion; decreased concentration; decreased coordination; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; memory loss; new or worsening agitation, panic attacks, aggressiveness, impulsiveness, irritability, hostility, exaggerated feeling of well-being, restlessness, or inability to sit still; persistent, painful erection; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe or persistent anxiety or trouble sleeping; severe or persistent headache; stomach pain; suicidal thoughts or attempts; tremor; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual or severe mental or mood changes; unusual weakness; vision changes; worsening of depression.



Whoa! I am just shocked! Another pharmaceutical that doesn't work!?

When will they learn? The same people that created this Autism epidemic CANNOT and WILL NOT be the same people to solve this problem. Take that to the bank.


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