Why Is This Case Important?
Anticipatory guidance is a vital component of a primary care provider’s (PCP) work. Parents turn to their PCP for advice on how to deal with their child’s needs and expect them to provide their expertise on a variety of issues.
Families of children who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often feel alone because their child may not act like other children when going through different developmental stages. Being able to offer anticipatory guidance that is geared toward the child with ASD is important for every PCP.
This case discusses the use of medications, some which are off label, for which FDA approved uses are limited. A PCP may encounter a child with ASD on one or more of these medications in the course of his or her practice. It is important to be aware of side effect profiles, contraindications and health monitoring in children on these medications. While these side effects should be monitored by the prescriber, the PCP needs to make sure these are monitored, be aware of the possible drug interactions with medications he or she will prescribe, and know the side effects so they can be considered in the differential diagnosis of symptoms brought to the PCP office for treatment.