Clinical trial of sertraline in the treatment of night eating syndrome

Int J Eat Disord. 2004 Jan;35(1):16-26. doi: 10.1002/eat.10224.


Objective: To test the efficacy of sertraline in the treatment of night eating syndrome.

Methods: Seventeen patients meeting criteria for night eating syndrome received sertraline in a 12-week open-label, nonblind trial. Outcome was assessed by four primary measures, namely, the number of nocturnal awakenings, the number of ingestions, total daily caloric intake after the evening meal, and an overall rating of change from the Clinical Global Impression of Improvement scale (CGI-I).

Results and discussion: An intent-to-treat analysis revealed highly significant improvements across all four primary outcome measures for all 17 subjects. Five subjects achieved full remission of symptoms (CGI-I score of 1 = very much improved) and lost a significant amount of weight over the course of the study (-4.8 +/- 2.6 kg, p < .05). Sertraline, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, may be beneficial in the treatment of night eating syndrome.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Sertraline / therapeutic use*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Sertraline