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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1996 Oct;20(10):917-20.

Serotoninergic drug-induced weight loss in carbohydrate craving obese patients.

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  • 1Department of General Internal Medicine, Leiden University Hospital, The Netherlands.



Serotoninergic neurotransmission, mainly in specific hypothalamic nuclei, plays an important role in the regulation of appetite. Dysfunction of this system has been postulated to result in the clinical picture of carbohydrate craving obesity. This subgroup of obese patients is characterized by a specific preference for high-carbohydrate and low-protein snacks. Centrally acting serotoninergic drugs, such as the serotonin re-uptake inhibitor d-fenfluramine, have been hypothesized to restore serotonin mediated control of food intake.


To test the hypothesis that serotoninergic drugs would induce a greater weight loss in carbohydrate craving (CC) than in non-carbohydrate craving (NC) obese patients.


A three months open intervention study with d-fenfluramine 15 mg twice daily. In order to be able to study the effect of the drug alone, no dietary restrictions were imposed. Both the medical doctor and the patient were unaware of who was a carbohydrate craving obese patient and who was not.


10 CC and 10 NC patients, matched for sex, age, body mass index and family history of obesity.


Height, body weight, food intake (energy intake and macronutrient selection) and patient compliance.


CC patients lost 4.8 +/- 3.9 kg body weight or 15.9 +/- 13.5% of their pretreatment overweight, whereas NC patients lost 4.5 +/- 2.9 kg or 16.4 +/- 11.6% of their overweight (t-test for paired samples, P = 0.82 and P = 0.93 respectively).


We conclude that CC patients do not constitute a subgroup of obese patients that should be treated with a serotoninergic drug preferentially.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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