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Int J Eat Disord. 1993 May;13(4):411-4.

Ipecac abuse in a sample of eating disordered outpatients.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.


Eight hundred fifty-one consecutive outpatients presenting at a suburban eating disorder clinic were evaluated for current or past ipecac abuse. A percentage (7.6%) of all subjects reported some use or experimentation with ipecac for purging; 4.7% had experimented with it briefly; 3.1% (8.8% of subjects meeting criteria for bulimia) had chronically abused ipecac; and 1.1% (1.5% of subjects meeting criteria for bulimia) were regularly abusing ipecac at the time of intake. Chronic ipecac abusers were more likely to have been hospitalized. Subjects who experimented briefly with ipecac had a longer duration of illness. Both chronic ipecac abusers and experimenters were more prone to abuse other substances for purging and to report alcohol abuse in an immediate family member.

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