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Phenelzine vs Placebo in 50 Patients With Bulimia

B. Timothy Walsh, MD; Madeline Gladis, MA; Steven P. Roose, MD; Jonathan W. Stewart, MD; Fay Stetner, MS; Alexander H. Glassman, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988;45(5):471-475. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1988.01800290091011.
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• To examine the efficacy of the monoamine oxidase inhibitor phenelzine sulfate in the treatment of bulimia, a doubleblind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted. In 50 women who completed the trial, phenelzine was significantly superior to placebo in the reduction of binge frequency (64% vs 5%), in the fraction of patients who had ceased bingeing at the end of the trial (35% vs 4%), and in several measures of psychological state. The superiority of phenelzine over placebo was not confined to a depressed subgroup of patients. Although no patient experienced a hypertensive crisis during the study, other side effects of phenelzine were problematic and limit the usefulness of phenelzine in this population.


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