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Ask the Experts


Do antidepressants work in the treatment of Anorexia?

Answered by: Evelyn Attia

Given the symptom overlap between anorexia nervosa (AN) and depression, with many AN patients having sadness, loss of energy, difficulty with concentration and insomnia, there have been several studies of anti-depressant medication for patients with AN.

Much to the surprise of investigators in the field, none of these has been shown to work better than placebo in treating mood or any other symptoms of the eating disorder.

One review of the medication studies that has been tried in AN is: Attia E, Schroeder L. Pharmacologic treatment of anorexia nervosa: where do we go from here? Int J Eat Disord. 2005;37 Suppl:S60-3.