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Eat Behav. 2008 Apr;9(2):129-36. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2007.03.006. Epub 2007 Mar 28.

Antidepressants in short-term treatment of binge eating disorder: systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Psychiatry Department, Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.



To evaluate the effects of antidepressant interventions for patients with Binge Eating Disorder (BED).


A systematic review and meta-analysis of available randomized controlled trials including a quality appraisal was conducted. Six databases: PUBMED, EMBASE, PSYINFO, LILACS, The Cochrane Collaboration Controlled Trials Register and The Cochrane Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Group Database of Trials were searched using an electronic search strategy. Articles published during the period from January 1994 to December 2005 were included.


From the 3357 articles initially identified, 19 full manuscripts were selected and analyzed and 7 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were included in the final analysis. Data from the meta-analysis revealed that binge-eating remission rates were higher in patients receiving antidepressants when compared with placebo. No difference in body weight has been found as measured by short-term change in body mass index. Most studies were short-term trials (median duration: 8 weeks). The only 16-week duration study did not show superiority of antidepressants over placebo.


Available data are not sufficient to formally recommend antidepressants as a single first line therapy for both short-term remission of binge-eating episodes and weight reduction in patients with BED. BED is a chronic condition and very short-term studies (8 weeks) may be of limited value.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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