• Twenty bulimic women of normal weight participated in a double-blind trial studying the effects of a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). Nine women received phenelzine sulfate and 11 received placebo. Although phenelzine's side effects were a problem, the phenelzine-treated patients reported significantly fewer binges per week and had a lower Eating Attitudes Test score. Five of the nine phenelzine-treated patients ceased binging entirely and the other four reduced their binge frequency by at least 50%; none of the 11 placebo-treated patients stopped binging and only two reduced their binge frequency by 50% or more. These data demonstrate that phenelzine is significantly more effective than placebo in the treatment of bulimic women of normal weight and suggest a place for MAOIs in the treatment of bulimic patients capable of maintaining a tyramine-free diet.
Walsh BT, Stewart JW, Roose SP, Gladis M, Glassman AH. Treatment of Bulimia With PhenelzineA Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(11):1105-1109. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790220095015