April 11, 2018

rispiridoneNearly half of children and young adults with autism in receipt of the antipsychotic risperidone also displayed hyperprolactinemia – elevated levels of the hormone prolactin – according to new research by Yaowaluck Hongkaew and colleagues based in Bangkok, Thailand.

Based on an analysis of blood samples taken from nearly 150 participants diagnosed with autism taking risperidone either singularly or in combination with other medicines, researchers reported that 44% of the group (66 of 147 people) presented with hyperprolactinemia “defined as a prolactin level above percentile 97.5 on the basis of normative data for age and sex.” Prolactin is the hormone best known for enabling females to produce milk and stimulating breast development. In males, prolactin seems to have no known normal function. Researchers concluded that “risperidone treatment causes prolactin elevations”, also finding something of a dose-related relationship with measured prolactin levels.

Risperidone is an atypical antipsychotic used to manage various conditions and behaviours. More typically indicated for diagnoses such as schizophrenia, it has also been approved in the United States for the management of irritability in children and adolescents diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Such as judgement was based on various studies observing a positive effect on such behaviours.

Alongside the possible benefits following the use of risperidone, the drug also carries a number of known side-effects. Weight gain is one of the more commonly discussed issues, although elevations in prolactin levels have also been noted. In some cases, elevated levels of prolactin are accompanied by gynecomastia, an enlargement of breast tissue in males. Litigation is currently underway looking at such circumstances potentially following risperidone use in cases of autism.


* Hongkaew Y. et al. Hyperprolactinemia in Thai children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder treated with risperidone. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2015 Jan 22;11:191-6.

Read more about this research at: http://questioning-answers.blogspot.com/2015/02/hyperprolactinemia-and-risperidone-use-in-autism.html

About the author 

Paul Whiteley Ph.D.

Researcher based in North East England. An academic background in psychology with a special interest in developmental psychology focused specifically on the autism spectrum and related conditions. Postgraduate degrees based on research examining the safety and efficacy of a gluten- and casein-free (GFCF) diet applied to autism and the potential importance of various comorbidity to the health and wellbeing of those on the autism spectrum, with a continuing research interest in these areas. Keen blogger and amateur science writer (but no formal qualifications in these areas). Science is based on probability.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}


December 24, 2020

From YouTube The United States Senate unanimously passed

November 6, 2020

Liver transplant potentially helpful in rare form of

October 6, 2020

New research conducted by a group of occupational

September 23, 2020

Pain may predict sleeping problems in teens diagnosed

July 15, 2020

A study published in The American Journal of

July 11, 2020

This is part 2 of our review of

June 22, 2020

It may seem like a pipe dream: a

June 4, 2020

CC BY by NIAID The results reported by

June 2, 2020

  On February 2, Autism Daily Newscast reported