Risperidone, Aripiprazole Reduce 30-Day Hospital Readmissions in Patients With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Researchers sought to answer this question: How do rates of readmission compare for risperidone and aripiprazole when used for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder?

The following article is a part of conference coverage from the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting 2021, held virtually from May 1 to 3, 2021. The team at Psychiatry Advisor will be reporting on the latest news and research conducted by leading experts in psychiatry. Check back for more from the APA 2021.


Both oral risperidone and oral aripiprazole demonstrate similar efficacy in reducing 30-day hospital readmission rates in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to study results presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting, held virtually from May 1 to 3, 2021.

Both risperidone and aripiprazole are standard pharmacologic therapies for irritability and aggressive behaviors in people with ASD. Studies comparing these drugs head-to-head demonstrate similar effects in symptom reduction, but readmission rates in each of these therapies had not yet been studied.

Using the Healthcare Corporate Databank, researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of 30-, 60-, and 90-day readmission rates for children and adolescents between 6 and 18 years of age with a DSM-5 diagnosis of ASD.

The total cohort included 2226 patients. The likelihood of 30-, 60-, and 90-day readmission was significant for patients who were White. Significant associations were also found for age and antipsychotic vs no antipsychotic use (P =.0316, .0393, and .041, respectively).

Although antipsychotic use reduced 30-day readmission rates, both oral aripiprazole and oral risperidone were “equally effective” in reducing readmission rates, with neither demonstrating superiority throughout the study period.

“Our study shows the importance [of the] use of antipsychotics for individuals who are refractory to first- and second-line therapies such as behavioral interventions, or for those who present with persistent and serious risk of harm to themselves or others,” the study researchers concluded. “Additionally, use of antipsychotic medications in this scenario may reduce hospitalizations within 30 days of discharge, mortality, and morbidity.”

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Kompella S, Neuhut S, Khan S, Kaushal S. 30-day readmission rate for oral aripiprazole vs oral risperidone in patients with autism spectrum disorder and irritability. Presented at: APA annual meeting May 1-3, 2021. Abstract/Poster 5411.