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Medication Treatments

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To this point, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any drugs specifically for the treatment of Fragile X or its symptoms. But in many cases, medications are used to treat certain symptoms of Fragile X syndrome, as shown in the chart below. The NICHD does not endorse or support the use of any of these medications in treating the symptoms of Fragile X syndrome, or for other conditions for which the medications are not FDA approved.

Medication is most effective when paired with therapy designed to teach new coping or behavioral skills. Not every medication helps every child.

Please note that some of these medications carry serious risks. Others may make symptoms worse at first, or they may take several weeks to become effective. Doctors may have to try different dosages or combinations of medications to find the most effective plan. Families, caregivers, and doctors need to work together to ensure that a medication is working and that the medication plan is safe.

This chart is meant for reference ONLY and should not take the place of a health care provider’s advice. Discuss any questions about medication with a health care provider.

Symptom Generic Medication (Brand Name in Parentheses)
Seizures
Mood instability
  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • Valproic acid or Divalproex (Depakote)
  • Lithium carbonate
  • Gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • Topiramate (Topamax), Tiagabine (Gabitril), and Vigabatrin (Sabril)
  • Phenobarbital and Primidone (Mysoline)
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin)
Attention deficit (with or without hyperactivity)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta) and Dextroamphetamine (Adderall, Dexedrine)
  • L-acetylcarnitine
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor) and Nefazodone (Serzone)
  • Amantadine (Symmetrel)
  • Folic acid
Hyperarousal
Sensory overstimulation
(often occurs with ADD/ADHD)
  • Clonidine (Catapres TTS patches)
  • Guanfacine (Tenex)
Aggression
Intermittent explosive disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder
(often occurs with anxiety and/or depression)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft) and Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • Risperidone (Risperdal)
  • Quetiapine (Seroquel)
  • Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
Sleep disturbances
  • Trazodone
  • Melatonin

ADD: attention deficit disorder; ADHD: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; TTS: transdermal therapeutic system.


Last Updated Date: 11/30/2012
Last Reviewed Date: 11/30/2012
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