The Food and Drug Administration is cautioning that many products claiming to cure or treat autism are bogus and may in fact be dangerous.

The agency said in a notice this week that unproven therapies marketed to those on the spectrum can “carry significant health risks.”

No cure for autism exists and many products claiming to address symptoms of the developmental disorder simply do not work, the FDA said.

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Companies peddling treatments including chelation, hyperbaric oxygen therapy and detoxifying clay baths as well as raw camel milk and essential oils have received warnings or been subject to action by the FDA for making improper claims related to autism.

At present, the FDA has approved the use of the antipsychotics risperidone, or Risperdal, and aripripazole, also known as Abilify, to treat some symptoms of autism. The agency indicated that individuals should check with their doctor before taking medication or participating in any type of behavior therapy to address the developmental disorder.

“Autism varies widely in severity and symptoms,” said Amy Taylor, a pediatrician at the FDA. “Existing autism therapies and interventions are designed to address specific symptoms and can bring about improvement.”

Consumers should be suspicious of treatments advertised as a “quick fix” or “miracle cure,” according to Jason Humbert, a regulatory operations officer in the FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs.

What’s more, individuals should be wary of anything that claims to address a wide range of conditions and keep in mind that personal testimonials are no replacement for scientific evidence, Humbert said.

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