Objective: This open clinical trial examined the feasibility, tolerability, and efficacy of treating adolescents who suffer from bulimia nervosa with fluoxetine.
Methods: Ten adolescents, ages 12-18 years received 8 weeks of fluoxetine 60 mg/day with supportive psychotherapy. Primary outcome measures included frequencies of binge eating and purging and ratings on the Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement scale (CGI-I). Secondary outcome measures included self-report measures of eating disorder, depression, and anxiety symptoms. Safety and tolerability of this dose of fluoxetine were also assessed.
Results: Average weekly binges decreased significantly from 4.1 +/- 3.8 to 0 (p < 0.01). Average weekly purges decreased significantly from 6.4 +/- 5.2 to 0.4 +/- 0.9 (p < 0.005). All patients improved on the CGI-I scale, with 20% rated as much improved, 50% improved, and 30% slightly improved. All subjects tolerated the 60-mg dose of fluoxetine, and there were no dropouts due to adverse effects from the medication.
Discussion: Fluoxetine is generally well tolerated and may be an effective treatment option for adolescents with bulimia nervosa.