Investigational drugs for eating disorders

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder (BED) each occur in about 0.5-1.5% of the population in westernised countries, and primarily affect women. At present, a variety of pharmacological treatments are used in addition to psychotherapy, with antidepressants being the most common. Currently available drugs, while helpful, fall far short of desired levels of efficacy. Based on current knowledge about neural mechanisms that regulate feeding behaviour, several classes of compounds are in development to treat eating disorders. These include cholecystokinin (CCK) antagonists, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) antagonists, histamine-3 (H3) receptor antagonists, neuropeptide Y (NPY) antagonists, and a variety of serotonin uptake inhibiting drugs. Based on currently available effective treatments, it seems reasonable that the serotonin uptake inhibiting drugs might hold the greatest likelihood of benefit for these illnesses, but the receptor antagonists in development might provide substantial improvement in response rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-436
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

Keywords

  • anorexia nervosa
  • binge eating disorder
  • bulimia nervosa
  • cholecystokinin
  • corticotropin-releasing hormone
  • eating disorders
  • histamine-3-receptor
  • neuropeptide Y
  • serotonin

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