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Warning controversial medical autism treatment article

(6 Posts)
amberlight Sun 31-May-09 07:29:36,0,2754752.story

Don't know if anyone else has posted this, but there's been extra controversy this week over the use of the 'chemical castration drug' Lupron (also called Viadur or Eligard or Prostap) on children with autism in the US.

A good number of our autism scientists are horrified that it is being offered as a treatment with no real scientific evidence and no clue what the long term effects are going to be on the children. The people offering it even lied about it being endorsed by one of the main scientists, who is Not Pleased.

The Los Angeles Times 24 May reports, "Experts in childhood hormones warn that Lupron can disrupt normal development, interfering with natural puberty and potentially putting children's hearts and bones at risk. The treatment also means subjecting children to daily injections, including painful shots deep into muscle every other week" It also costs $4-6,000 a month for the treatment.

I can understand parents wanting to find help, but I think this is pretty shocking.

sc13 Mon 01-Jun-09 11:18:03

I am not familiar with USA legislation on this, but I am amazed that this could be legal without any clinical trials to back it up.
Welcome back, by the way.

magso Mon 01-Jun-09 13:16:15

Is there any proven science behind it?

sc13 Mon 01-Jun-09 13:46:41

If I understand correctly the way things work, before being considered effective and safe, a drug has to undergo clinical trials. I'd be very surprised if the side-effects of the drug, the lack of a proven link between hormones and ASD, the ethical problems involved in enlisting trial subjects for anything like this, let alone children, the difficulties involved in measuring 'improvement' in behaviour, have made it possible to have clinical trials in this case.

amberlight Mon 01-Jun-09 15:22:27

I think the parents are paying privately to be part of a 'project', rather than going through any sort of proper trial process. If you have a good enough legal agreement that says "we know it's dangerous and we've taken advice and we can't sue you for it", then I believe they can go ahead in parts of the US.

FWIW I think there is a very strong link between hormones and ASD, but not necessarily that one. I'd be looking at oxytocin, myself. And I certainly wouldn't be experimenting on the children!

TotalChaos Fri 05-Jun-09 23:20:56

sounds concerning, would be interested in hearing the other side, as to safety/justification for using this. Am pretty sure there's a link between oxytocin and OCD too....

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