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J Clin Psychiatry. 2003 Dec;64(12):1449-54.

Treatment of bulimia nervosa with topiramate in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, part 2: improvement in psychiatric measures.

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Department of Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602, USA.



We conducted a 10-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to examine the efficacy of topiramate in the treatment of bulimia nervosa. Primary efficacy analyses showed that topiramate treatment significantly reduced days on which patients binged and/or purged. This article describes further analyses investigating topiramate's effect on psychological symptoms associated with disordered eating.


Patients with DSM-IV bulimia nervosa were randomly assigned to receive topiramate (N = 35) or placebo (N = 34) for 10 weeks. Topiramate treatment was started at 25 mg/day and titrated by 25 to 50 mg/week to a maximum of 400 mg/day. Secondary psychiatric endpoints, including the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI), Eating Attitudes Test (EAT), Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAM-A), Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D), and Patient Global Improvement (PGI) were assessed for change from baseline in the topiramate versus placebo group.


Thirty-one patients receiving topiramate and 33 receiving placebo were included in the intent-to-treat analysis. Percent change from baseline on the EDI indicated significantly greater improvement in the topiramate group compared with the placebo group for subscales measuring bulimia/uncontrollable overeating (p =.005), body dissatisfaction (p =.007), and drive for thinness (p =.002). The EAT showed significant improvement in the topiramate group compared with the placebo group for the bulimia/food preoccupation (p =.019) and dieting (p =.031) subscales and the total score (p =.022). For the topiramate group, the reduction in mean HAM-A score was significantly greater (p =.046) than that in the placebo group, while reduction in HAM-D scores was greater in the topiramate group compared with the placebo group but did not reach statistical significance (p =.069). Significantly more patients treated with topiramate compared with placebo reported improvement on the PGI (p =.004).


Topiramate treatment improves multiple behavioral dimensions of bulimia nervosa. Binge and purge behaviors are reduced, and treatment is associated with improvements in self-esteem, eating attitudes, anxiety, and body image. These results support topiramate as a viable therapeutic option for the treatment of bulimia nervosa. Additional, longer-term multicenter trials are indicated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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