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Effects of Cyproheptadine on Symptoms and Attitudes in Anorexia Nervosa

Solomon C. Goldberg, PhD; Elke D. Eckert, MD; Katherine A. Halmi, MD; Regina C. Casper, MD; Margaret Roper; John M. Davis, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(9):1083. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780220121016.
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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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