Prozac does not prevent ANOREXIA NERVOSA

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Prozac does not prevent ANOREXIA NERVOSA

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An antidepressant does not seem to prevent recurrences.

Seattle Times - July 1, 2004

THE QUESTION: Battling anorexia can be a lifelong challenge. Even people who have regained weight often become obsessed again with being thin, spiraling back into an excessive diet and exercise regimen. Might taking an antidepressant help prevent this by resolving underlying psychological problems that may cause the physical symptoms of the eating disorder?

THIS STUDY involved 93 girls and women, 16 to 45 years old, who had been treated for anorexia and had regained lost weight. They were randomly assigned to take Prozac (fluoxetine) or a placebo daily; all participants also attended weekly psychotherapy sessions. A year later, symptoms had returned or severely worsened in 57 percent of those who took Prozac and 55 percent of the placebo group.

WHO MAY BE AFFECTED BY THESE FINDINGS? Girls and women with anorexia. Females account for 90 percent of anorexics.

CAVEATS: More than half of the participants quit the study early, most because they had relapsed. Whether an antidepressant given at a different stage of the illness might have produced different results was not determined. The drugs and placebos used in the study were provided by Eli Lilly, which markets Prozac; five of the 11 authors had received research funds from the company.

FIND THIS STUDY: June 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association; abstract available online at

SOURCE: ... udy02.html
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