Effects of cyproheptadine in anorexia nervosa

S. C. Goldberg, R. C. Casper, E. D. Eckert

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6 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of cyproheptadine (Periactin) on weight gain and on various behaviors in anorexia nervosa. A total of 105 rigorously diagnosed anorexia nervosa patients from three participating hospitals were randomly assigned to cyproheptadine or placebo and were followed in-hospital for 35 days. All patients received a ward milieu therapy in addition to study treatment. No general effect due to drug treatment with regard to weight gain could be detected. Several other characteristics of this disorder, such as the fear of becoming fat, were also examined for drug-placebo differences over time. A significant drug effect was found on seven variables. Compared with placebo, drug treatment caused a reduction in: thin ideal, a morbid desire to take up cooking as a hobby, disinterest in the opposite sex, discomfort in ingesting food, the scores of the correction (K) scale of the MMPI, and social introversion on the MMPI. Only in the case of hostile mood did drug treatment produce an increase rather than a decrease in these variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-30
Number of pages2
JournalPsychopharmacology bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes


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