The FDA has approved certain antipsychotics such as risperidone (Risperdal®) and aripripazole (Abilify®) that can help manage some symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) such as severe tantrums, aggression, and self-injurious behavior. However, there is a long history of unapproved, failed treatments and hoaxes that may carry significant health risks.
The FDA has warned a number of companies that they face legal action if they continue to make false or misleading claims about products and therapies claiming to that or cure autism, including:
- Chelation Therapies: various sprays, suppositories, capsules, liquid drops and clay baths that claim to cleanse the body of toxic chemicals and heavy metals in order to treat autism. FDA-approved chelating agents are approved only for specific uses, such as the treatment of lead poisoning and iron overload and are available by prescription only. Chelating important minerals needed by the body can lead to serious and life-threatening outcomes. Chelation therapies are not approved for the treatment of autism.
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: breathing oxygen in a pressurized chamber is FDA-approved for certain medical uses, such as treating decompression sickness suffered by divers. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is not approved for the treatment of autism.
- Miracle Mineral Solutions and Supplements (MMS): this product becomes a potent chemical that‘s used as bleach when mixed according to package directions. FDA has received reports of consumers who say they experienced nausea, severe vomiting and life-threatening low blood pressure after drinking the MMS and citrus juice mixture.
- Detoxifying Clay Baths: added to bath water, these products claim to draw out chemical toxins, pollutants and heavy metals from the body, falsely offering “dramatic improvement” for autism symptoms.
- CocoKefir Probiotics: claim to be a “major key” to recovery from autism, but they are not proven safe and effective for this advertised use.
Any so-called miracle cure that claims scientific breakthroughs and secret ingredients may be a hoax. If it’s an unproven or little known treatment, talk to your health care professional before buying or using these products.
 FDA, "Beware of False or Misleading Claims for Treating Autism", April 25, 2014.