NICE CG170 Management of Autism in Children and Young People

 In Clinical Guidelines, NICE guidelines

This clinical guideline provides advice on the care and management of children and young people with autism, which is reported to affect 1% of the population.  About 70% of people with autism have at least one other psychiatric disorder such as ADHD or anxiety.  50% have intellectual disability (IQ lower than 70).

NICE recommends that psychotropic drugs are not used to manage the core features of autism.  However,  antipsychotics are recommended for managing challenging behaviour if psychological approaches have been unsuccessful, although this is unlicensed use and guidance is provided on the way they should be used.

Hypnotics may be required for sleeping problems but must only be used after full assessment and in conjunction with appropriate non-pharmacological methods,  such as sleep hygiene interventions.

Treatment can be complex due to the need to manage comorbid neurodevelopmental and psychiatric conditions.


Photo by Scott Vaughan (originally posted to Flickr as IMG_9588) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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