A randomized, double-blind trial comparing sertraline and fluoxetine 6-month treatment in obese patients with Binge Eating Disorder

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Aug 1;32(6):1599-605. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2008.06.005. Epub 2008 Jun 14.


Previous studies support the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), in overweight patients with Binge Eating Disorder (BED), but results are far from conclusive. Sertraline has been studied less extensively, and there have been a few studies concerning SSRIs that report follow-up data at more than 12 weeks of follow-up. The present study assesses the effectiveness of sertraline and fluoxetine over a period of 24 weeks in obese patients with BED (DSM-IV-TR). Forty-two obese outpatients were randomized and assigned to one of two different drug treatments: 22 were treated with sertraline (dose range: 100-200 mg/day) and 20 with fluoxetine (dose range: 40-80 mg/day). Subjects were assessed at baseline and at 8, 12, and 24 weeks of treatment for binge frequency, weight loss, and severity of psychopathology. No significant differences were found between the two treatments. After 8 weeks of treatment a significant improvement in the Binge Eating Scale score and a significant weight loss emerged. These results were maintained by responders (weigh loss of at least 5% of baseline weight) over 24 weeks. The results suggest that a 6-month treatment with SSRI may be an effective option to treat patients with BED.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bulimia Nervosa / drug therapy*
  • Bulimia Nervosa / psychology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fluoxetine / adverse effects
  • Fluoxetine / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Sertraline / adverse effects
  • Sertraline / therapeutic use*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Fluoxetine
  • Sertraline