by Polsdorfer R

Here are the basics about each of the medicines below. Only common problems with them are listed.

Prescription Medicine


Common names are:

  • Citalopram
  • Clomipramine
  • Escitalopram
  • Fluoxetine
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Sertraline

These medicines are used to improve mood. They can also help with problems like aggression or meltdowns.

Clomipramine treats obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which shares features with ASD.

Problems may be:

  • Methylphenidate

This medicine is used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It also may help those with ASD who struggle with hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention.

Problems may be:

  • Risk of abuse or addiction
  • Seizures
  • Worsening mental health problems

Common names are:

  • Aripiprazole
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Haloperidol
  • Thioridazine
  • Risperidone

These drugs are used to treat aggressive behavior, self-harm, and meltdowns.

Problems may be:

  • Moving without control
  • High fever
  • Sleepiness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight gain
  • Liver harm


Autism. Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: Accessed May 16, 2022.

Autism spectrum disorder. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: Accessed May 16, 2022.

Autism spectrum disorders. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed May 16, 2022.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Kari Kuenn, MD
  • Review Date: 11/2021
  • Update Date: 05/16/2022