Use of psychotropic medicines such as antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anxiolytics is common in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD); however, very little is known about medicine use in adults with ASD. This pilot project aimed to describe medicines use in Australian adults with ASD. We conducted a retrospective analysis of mental health care plan records for adults with a confirmed diagnosis of ASD from a single metropolitan psychology practice. One hundred and twenty one of the 168 participants (72%) were taking at least one medicine. Fifty-nine of the 168 persons whose care plans were reviewed (35%) were taking an antidepressant, the most frequently prescribed psychotropic medicine. Twenty-three (14%) were prescribed a medicine for airways disease, most commonly salbutamol. Antipsychotics were used by 11% and anxiolytic/hypnotics by 10%. The most commonly used antidepressants were sertraline and escitalopram (21 and 19% of antidepressant users, respectively). The most commonly used antipsychotics were quetiapine and risperidone (32% and 27%, respectively). This pilot project has highlighted that use of psychotropic medicines is common in adults with ASD.
- autism spectrum disorder
- drug utilisation