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New Report Shows Drug Companies Lied and Overstated Their Drug’s Ability to Treat Autism

New Report Shows Drug Companies Lied and Overstated Their Drug’s Ability to Treat Autism

Story at-a-glance -

  • Up to one-third of autistic children are prescribed antidepressant drugs to treat repetitive behaviors, but their benefits have been greatly overstated.
  • A new analysis reviewed data from five published, and one unpublished, trials and found a strong suggestion of publication bias – so strong that it could no longer be concluded that antidepressants are effective in children with autism
  • Drug companies publish only a fraction of the studies they fund -- the ones that promote their drugs. If a study does not have findings that are favorable to its product, it is unlikely it will ever make it into a journal for publication and they are under absolutely no mandate to disclose that to the public.
  • In order for independent researchers to be able to confirm or refute a drug's safety and/or effectiveness, they need access to the same raw data and clinical study reports made available to regulators – but this data is often kept secret by drug companies
  • Oftentimes drugs are released to the market or prescribed for conditions without being proven safe or effective – and this includes antidepressants for children with autism

By Dr. Mercola

The antidepressant class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are among the most frequently prescribed drugs for autism.


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