Utility of Pharmacogenetics for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder




Cross, Deanna
Openshaw, Foster


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Purpose: The CDC estimates that 1 in 59 children have Autism Spectrum Disorder, and 64% used at least one psychotropic medication, 35% used more than one medication, and 15% used 3 or more medications. The purpose of the research is to determine whether genotyping children with Autism Spectrum Disorder for a panel of pharmacogenes would potentially change drug choice or dosage to increase drug efficacy and decrease adverse events. Methods: Using literature and database searches, a simulated population of 10,000 pediatric patients based on population demographics of Tarrant County was created and assigned between one and three drugs and relevant pharmacogene alleles related to those drugs with a random number generator based on prescribing frequencies for children with ASD and the allele frequencies of their ethnic group. Results: Children prescribed to one or more drugs would have a 45.99% chance of being prescribed a drug that has a pharmacogenetic usage guideline (one drug- 27.30%, two drugs- 59.95%, three drugs- 70.58%). All of the ethnicities evaluated have a high chance of being prescribed a drug that has a pharmacogenetic usage guideline (Black- 52.23%, White- 43.88%, Asian- 48.87%, Hispanic- 44.38%). Antidepressants(68.73%) and antipsychotics(40.10%) seem to have the highest probability of having a pharmacogenetic usage guideline. Risperidone(62.64%), fluoxetine(92.21%), and citalopram(99.85%) are the drugs that are most likely to have a pharmacogenetic usage guideline. Conclusions: It may be beneficial for children with ASD to receive a pharmacogenetic evaluation before being prescribed any psychotropic drug.