Psychotropic drugs – guideline and reality

This network map of prescribed medication began with a couple of informal surveys on an autism web forum, where it was rapidly obvious that prescribed medication exceeded any guidelines for the treatment of autism. Remember that medication is not recommended for the core symptoms of autism, because there are no medications that improve core function. There are many medications that assist with symptoms associated with autism – anxiety, depressions, obsession and challenging behaviour.

Below is a graph of psychotropic medication taken from the latest edition of the British National Formulary (68th edition, 2014). Individual medication names as generic name (Brand name) appear down the centre column. To the left are the psychotropic family groups and to the right are the main symptom family groups. E.g. atypical antipsychotic -> aripripazole (Abilify) -> schizophrenia, linked in black. The coloured lines indicate that this treatment path is recommended for challenging behaviour in autism by the US National Institutes for Mental Health (blue), Cochrane Collaboration and Griffith’s pharmacy guide (green).

This image is a discussion topic, not a scientific finding, and feedback is welcome.