Does Fluoxetine Augment the Inpatient Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa

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While pharmacological interventions are of established utility in bulimia nervosa, medications have no clear role in the treatment of anorexia nervosa. Because patients with anorexia nervosa frequently exhibit mood disturbances and symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, the authors tested the utility of fluoxetine in the treatment of women participating in an inpatient program for anorexia nervosa.


The authors conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, 7-week study of fluoxetine at a target daily dose of 60 mg in 31 women with anorexia nervosa receiving treatment for their eating disorder on a clinical research unit. Body weight and measures of eating behavior and psychological state were obtained at baseline and at termination.


There were no significant differences in clinical outcome on any measure between patients receiving fluoxetine and patients receiving placebo.


Fluoxetine does not appear to add significant benefit to the inpatient treatment of anorexia nervosa.

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