Antipsychotics and Autism Ranking: Mildly Hazardous Unable to rate

Aims and Claims


According to Mind (2012), antipsychotics are designed to

  • control anxiety and serious agitation, so that you feel less threatened
  • reduce incoherent speech and muddled thinking
  • reduce confusion
  • lessen delusions and hallucinations
  • reduce violent, disruptive behaviour
  • reduce mania.

They are sometimes prescribed for anxiety, in very low doses, and to supplement antidepressants if you are severely depressed. They are also sometimes used to control agitation and psychotic experiences in dementia.

Antipsychotics are also sometimes used to treat some of the more challenging problems faced by individuals on the autism spectrum including aggression, irritability, hyperactivity, self injury, and repetitive behaviour.


There have been various claims made for the use of antipsychotics as a treatment for people on the autism spectrum. 

For example, according to NICE (2013), there is some evidence to suggest that risperidone and aripiprazole may be effective in reducing irritability, lethargy, stereotypic behaviour, hyperactivity, inappropriate speech and parent-defined target behaviours that challenge.

01 Nov 2017
Last Review
01 Nov 2016
Next Review
01 Nov 2019