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Behav Pharmacol. 2012 Sep;23(5-6):616-25. doi: 10.1097/FBP.0b013e328357bd62.

Baclofen reduces binge eating in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study.

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  • 1Department of Nutritional Sciences, College of Health and Human Development, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16801, USA.


Baclofen has shown promise in treating substance use disorders and also reduced binge frequency in an open-label trial. This placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study further assessed the effects of baclofen on binge eating. Twelve individuals who self-reported binge eating completed the study. Data were collected during a run-in period (no drug or placebo), placebo phase (48 days), and baclofen phase (titrated up to 60 mg daily or the maximum tolerated dose, 48 days). All the participants were exposed to all conditions. Participants completed a binge diary daily, and the Binge Eating Scale (BES), Food Craving Inventory-II (FCI-II), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) at regular intervals throughout the study. Baclofen significantly reduced binge frequency relative to placebo and run-in (P<0.05). This confirms results from the previous open-label trial. Baclofen also produced slight, but significant, increases in depression symptomatology as assessed by the HADS. Binge severity (BES scores) and craving (FCI-II scores) were significantly reduced during placebo and baclofen phases, that is both measures exhibited significant placebo effects. Tiredness, fatigue, and upset stomach were the most commonly reported side-effects. These results indicate that baclofen may be a useful treatment for binge eating in some patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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