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J Psychopharmacol. 2004 Sep;18(3):423-8.

Use of reboxetine in bulimia nervosa: a pilot study.

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Department of Neurosciences, Section of Psychiatry, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.


The pharmacological approach to bulimia nervosa is mainly based (BN) on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, but many elements suggest the possible involvement of the noradrenergic system in this disorder. The aim of the study was to assess the efficacy of reboxetine--a selective norepinephrine uptake inhibitor--in a sample of bulimic outpatients, after 3 months of treatment. Twenty-eight of 77 consecutively admitted patients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of BN (without Axis I comorbidity) received reboxetine. All patients were assessed at baseline (T0), and after 1 month (T1) and 3 months (T3), respectively, of treatment with reboxetine 4 mg/day. The subjects were administered the following questionnaires: Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAM-A) and for Depression (HAM-D), Global Assessment Functioning (GAF), Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (EDI-2) and Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ). Sixty percent of the patients were responsive to treatment(evaluated as a 50% decrease of bulimic behaviours). After 3 months of treatment, a significant reduction emerged in the scores of various EDI-2 subscales (Bulimia, Drive for Thinness, Body Dissatisfaction, Social Insecurity, Interpersonal Distrust, etc.) and in the BSQ total score. Moreover, depressive symptoms (HAM-D) and Global Functioning (GAF) scores showed a significant improvement. These data support a fast and favourable effect of reboxetine in the treatment of BN, both on symptoms and psychopathological features. Moreover, the specific and strong action of reboxetine on improvement of social functioning is also supported in this disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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