Successful treatment of nonpurging bulimia nervosa with desipramine: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study

Una D. McCann, W. Stewart Agras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Twenty-three women with nonpurging bulimia underwent a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of desipramine hydrochloride. Repeated standardized rating scales, mood assessments, and self-reports of dietary habits were used to measure changes in binge frequency and cognitive processes associated with food intake. The women who received desipramine reduced their frequency of binge eating by 63%, but women receiving placebo increased their frequency of binge eating by 16%. Twelve weeks after initiating treatment, 60% of the treatment group but only 15% of the placebo group abstained from binge eating. The women who received desipramine showed significantly more dietary restraint and reported significantly less hunger, suggesting that desipramine acts to suppress appetite. These preliminary findings suggest that the therapeutic effects of desipramine established in the treatment of purging bulimia nervosa extend to patients with nonpurging bulimia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1509-1513
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume147
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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