The effect of dronabinol in a male patient with anorexia nervosa suffering from severe acute urge to be physically active

Int J Eat Disord. 2018 Feb;51(2):180-183. doi: 10.1002/eat.22804. Epub 2017 Dec 1.


Objective: A 27-year-old male suffering from chronic anorexia nervosa was admitted for inpatient psychotherapy suffering from severe urge to be physically active.

Methods: An off-label treatment with dronabinol was initiated, to reduce his symptoms related to that urge. Several attempts to reduce symptoms including intensive psychotherapy and several psychopharmacological agents had failed in the past.

Results: Following treatment with 7.5 mg dronabinol twice a day, the patient reported a significant reduction in his acute urge to be physically active. Also eating disorder-specific cognitions and compulsive behaviors remitted.

Discussion: Previous studies have applied much lower doses and showed no effect of dronabinol upon the urge to be physically active. Up to date, the patient reported no side effects, especially no psychotropic effects. Implications of this case report are discussed.

Keywords: anorexia nervosa; dronabinol; eating disorders; physical activity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / drug therapy*
  • Dronabinol / pharmacology
  • Dronabinol / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / pharmacology
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*


  • Psychotropic Drugs
  • Dronabinol