Pharmacokinetics of Buspirone in Autistic Children

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Buspirone is used to treat generalized anxiety disorder in children and may be useful in developmental disorders in which brain serotonin synthesis is altered. Autistic children (13 boys, 7 girls) were given a single oral dose of 2.5 mg (2–3 years) or 5.0 mg (4–6 years). Blood was collected for 8 hours, and plasma was assayed for buspirone and its metabolite 1-pyrimidinylpiperazine (1-PP). The peak concentration of buspirone averaged 1141 ± 748 pg/mL with a time to maximum concentration of 0.8 hours. Half-life was 1.6 ± 0.3 hours. Peak concentrations of 1-PP were 4.5-fold higher than for buspirone. Girls had higher peak concentrations (1876 vs 746 pg/mL) for buspirone and a lower peak 1-PP/buspirone concentration ratio. These results suggest that buspirone is rapidly absorbed and eliminated in young children with extensive metabolism to 1-PP. Plasma concentrations with 2.5− to 5.0-mg doses were similar to those observed in older children receiving 7.5− to 15-mg doses.

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