This new review assessed the efficacy and adverse effects of D-cycloserine compared with placebo for social and communication skills in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
It includes one randomised controlled trial (RCT) comparing 10 weeks (10 doses) of D-cycloserine (50 mg) plus social skills training with placebo plus social skills training in 67 children with ASD aged between 5 and 11 years old. The study, which was funded by the United States Department of Defense, was conducted at two sites. The following outcomes were assessed at one-week post-treatment: social communication and social interaction impairment; restricted, repetitive, stereotyped patterns of behaviour and interests; adverse effects; non-core symptoms of ASD; and tolerability of D-cycloserine. The study reported low-certainty evidence of little to no difference between the two groups for all outcomes measured.
The review authors concluded that they are uncertain if D-cycloserine is effective for children with ASD as only one study with methodological issues and imprecision was included. Additionally, they are uncertain of the long-term adverse effects of the drug due to the short duration of the study.
The evidence is current to November 2020. Read the full review here on the Cochrane Library.