Objectives: The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of fluoxetine on repetitive behaviors in adults with ASDs
Methods: This study utilized a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study design. Study medications were dispensed in an identical, double-blind fashion with dosage following a fixed schedule in the first two weeks and thereafter if tolerated participants. Blinded study psychiatrists completed ratings on the outcome measures including the Y-BOCS and CGI during bi-weekly clinic visits.
Results: Forty-eight adults ages 18-65, with a DSM-IV diagnosis of an ASD, confirmed by ADOS and/or ADI, were screened for the study; with 36 participants randomized and included in the analysis. Analysis of dosing patterns suggest the mean endpoint and peak dose for the sample was 64.76 mg (sd=29.09), occurring at week 8. Mixed regression models with observations nested within subjects were used to analyze Y-BOCS Compulsion subscale data. Treatment by linear interaction indicates a significant reduction in compulsion scores of the Y-BOCS across time for the fluoxetine treatment group compared to placebo (z= -2.432, p-.015, d=.527), with endpoint differences yielding a moderate effect size. Independent sample t-tests of the CGI-Improvement-Obsessive Compulsive (CGI-I-OC) scores and CGI-Improvement-Global (CGI-I-G) at week 12 also suggest significant improvements both CGI-I-OC and CGI-I-G ratings for the treatment group.
Conclusions: The results of this clinical trial suggest fluoxetine is more effective than placebo in the treatment of repetitive behaviors and global functioning in adults with ASDs; and appeared to be well-tolerated with only mild and moderate side effects in the treatment group