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Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2009 Jan;18(1):175-87. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2008.07.009.

Pharmacotherapy for eating disorders and obesity.

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  • 1College of Medicine, University of South Florida, 3515 East Fletcher Avenue, Tampa, FL 33613, USA.


Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are significant mental health problems in the adolescent population; however, there are no medications approved by the FDA for the treatment of adolescents with either of these disorders. Many medications are used off label for both the symptoms of eating disorders and their co-morbid conditions, particularly SSRIs and atypical anti-psychotics. The dosing, side effect profile, and long term effects of these medications in children and adolescents is unclear. Binge eating disorder, night eating syndrome, and sleep-related eating disorder often are associated with over-weight in adolescents. There are various pharmacological approaches to the treatment of obesity in the adolescent population some of which have FDA approval. In the article the authors discuss pharmacological approaches to guide the treatment of eating disorders and obesity in the pediatric population, including risks of treatment, monitoring of potential side effects, and recent outcomes in the literature.

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