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Am J Clin Nutr. 1996 Sep;64(3):267-73.

A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the effect of fluoxetine on dietary intake in overweight women with and without binge-eating disorder.

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  • 1Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, PA, USA.


This study examined mechanisms by which fluoxetine may reduce energy consumption and body weight. Women with binge-eating disorder (BED; n = 38) and age- and weight-matched women without BED (n = 32) monitored their dietary intake and concurrently recorded mood variables on a hand-held computer for 6 d of baseline and for 6 d after being randomly assigned to receive placebo or fluoxetine (60 mg). Fluoxetine reduced eating more than did the placebo on days 4-6 of treatment. The frequency of episodes was not affected, suggesting that fluoxetine affects satiety, not hunger. Fluoxetine did not preferentially reduce carbohydrate intake, did not affect snack consumption as compared with meal consumption, and did not affect negative-mood eating more than positive-mood eating, nor did fluoxetine affect subjects' mood ratings. Benefits of fluoxetine were of approximately equal magnitude for women with and without BED. However, women who reported higher energy consumption at baseline were more responsive to fluoxetine than were women who reported lower energy consumption at baseline, and binge-eating status was associated with greater energy consumption at all time points, including baseline. Fluoxetine affects dietary intake within 4 d of its consumption, and if future research shows that this remains true on repeated applications, this drug may be useful for short periods when difficulty with overeating is anticipated, such as during vacations.

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