Fluoxetine fails to prevent anorexia relapse
14 June 2006
Treatment with fluoxetine does not appear to reduce the risk of relapse following weight restoration in women with anorexia nervosa, researchers have found.
"Since the ineffectiveness of medication at low weight might be due to the effects of starvation, researchers have more recently explored the utility of medication after initial treatment has reversed the acute effects of starvation, with differing results," explain B Timothy Walsh, from Columbia University Medical Center in New York, USA, and colleagues.
To clarify the issue further, the team investigated whether fluoxetine, compared with placebo, could reduce the rate of relapse and enhance psychological and behavioral recovery following initial treatment in 93 patients with anorexia nervosa.
The participants, all of whom had achieved a body mass index (BMI) of at least 19, were randomly assigned to receive fluoxetine (n=49) or placebo (n=44) for up to 1 year as outpatients.