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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2004 Nov;5(11):2287-92.

Available pharmacological treatments for anorexia nervosa.

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University of South Florida, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, College of Medicine, Health Sciences Center, Tampa, FL 33559, USA.


Currently, no medications are approved by the FDA for the treatment of anorexia nervosa (AN). However, there are several promising pharmacological targets. Treatment includes a weight restoration and a weight maintenance phase and different pharmacological treatments may be useful in one phase, but not the other. Although cyproheptadine has some modest benefit during the weight restoration phase, it is not widely used. Fluoxetine administered during the weight maintenance phase decreases relapse rate. The medications currently being most widely studied are the atypical antipsychotics, particularly olanzapine. Emerging evidence suggests that some AN patients have psychotic symptoms that may respond to antipsychotic agents. There are promising case reports and open-label studies of the atypical antipsychotics, but as yet, no randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind studies have been reported. Additional novel treatment approaches are urgently needed for this group of severely ill patients who have a high premature mortality rate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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