Fluvoxamine in the treatment of binge-eating disorder: A multicenter placebo-controlled, double-blind trial

James I. Hudson, Susan L. McElroy, Nancy C. Raymond, Scott Crow, Paul E. Keck, William P. Carter, James E. Mitchell, Stephen M. Strakowski, Harrison G. Pope, Bernard S. Coleman, Jeffrey M. Jonas

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212 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of fluvoxamine in the treatment of binge-eating disorder. Binge-eating disorder is a newly described eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating but without purging behaviors. Uncontrolled reports have suggested that serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be effective in treating this disorder. Method: Eighty-five outpatients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of binge-eating disorder were randomly assigned to receive either fluvoxamine (N= 42) or placebo (N=43) in a 9-week, parallel-group, double-blind, flexible dose (50-300 mg) study at three centers. The primary outcome measures were frequency of binge eating, expressed as log ([binges/week]+l), and Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale ratings. Secondary measures included the level of response (based on the percentage change in frequency of binges), body mass index, and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression score. Except for the level of response, the outcome measures were analyzed by random regression methods; the treatment-by-time interaction was the measure of treatment effect. Results: Compared with placebo, fluvoxamine was associated with a significantly greater rate of reduction in the frequency of binges, rate of reduction in CGI severity scores, rate of increase in CGI improvement scores, level of response for patients who completed the 9-week study, and rate of reduction in body mass index. There was no significant difference between placebo and fluvoxamine groups in the rate of decrease in Hamilton depression scale scores. A significantly greater proportion of patients receiving fluvoxamine than those receiving placebo discontinued treatment because of an adverse medical event. Conclusions: In this placebo, controlled trial, fluvoxamine was found to be effective according to most outcome measures in the acute treatment of binge-eating disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1756-1762
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1998


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