Title:Use of clonidine in children with autism spectrum disorders.
Source:MING, X. (2008). Use of clonidine in children with autism spectrum disorders. Brain and Development DOI: 10.1016/j.braindev.2007.12.007

In this study the authors wanted to evaluate the effectiveness of clonidine in the treatment of insomnia and other behavioral difficulties in children with autism spectrum disorder. The researchers evaluated 19 children with a diagnosis of ASDs obtained via ADI and ADOS. The researchers assessed sleep and behavioral problems as reported by the parents before and during the initiation of the treatment. Seventeen of the 19 children had sleep difficulties including prolonged sleep initiation and or difficulty maintaining sleep. All children with difficulty falling asleep (16) were able to fall asleep faster after taking the medication. In addition 16 of 17 children with sleep maintenance problems had a reduction in the frequency of awakening during the nights. The authors concluded that clonidine was effective in managing sleep difficulties in this sample of children with ASDs. However, the authors also correctly noted some major limitations of this study. This was an open label retrospective study. Open label means that all participants knew which medication they were taking. Under ideal conditions, such as in a randomized double-blind placebo study, both the clinicians and the patients are blind to what medication (or placebo) they are taking, which greatly increases our ability to reach conclusions about the true effects of the medication. In an open label study, there is always the possibility that the results are not due to the actual effect of the medication but to a ‘placebo’ effect.

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2 Responses to Clonidine and Sleep problems in children with Autism

  1. Kadu says:

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  2. [...] Additional Comments on the Use of Clonidine in Autism [...]

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