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September 1980

Effects of Cyproheptadine on Symptoms and Attitudes in Anorexia Nervosa

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry Medical College of Virginia MCV Station Box 710 Richmond, VA 23298
Department of Psychiatry University of Minnesota Box 393 Mayo Minneapolis, MN 55455
Department of Psychiatry Cornell University Medical Center White Plains, NY 10605
Illinois State Psychiatric Hospital 1601 W Taylor St Chicago, IL 60625
Food and Drug Administration 5600 Fishers Lane Rockville, MD 20857

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(9):1083. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780220121016

To the Editor.—  In an earlier publication1 we reported the effects of cyproheptadine hydrochloride on weight gain in 81 anorexia nervosa patients. Cyproheptadine is a serotonin and histamine antagonist with anticholinergic and sedative effects. Since that time, we have completed the full sample of 105 patients and have found that cyproheptadine affects characteristics of anorexia nervosa other than body weight.Females aged 10 to 40 years who met our study criteria for anorexia nervosa (an adaptation of those of Feighner et al2) were entered into a pretreatment period of seven days in hospital, after which they were randomly allocated to groups receiving combinations of (1) cyproheptadine or placebo, and (2) behavior modification or its absence, and followed up on these treatments in the hospital for 35 days. Aside from body weight, patients were evaluated periodically on a variety of symptoms, behaviors, and attitudes. This design was repeated in

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