Bulimia treated with imipramine: a placebo-controlled, double-blind study

Am J Psychiatry. 1983 May;140(5):554-8. doi: 10.1176/ajp.140.5.554.


Bulimia, the syndrome of compulsive binge eating, is a common and often severe disorder frequently resistant to known therapies. Recent evidence suggesting a link between bulimia and affective disorder prompted the authors to perform a double-blind study of imipramine versus placebo with 22 chronically bulimic women. Imipramine was associated with a significantly reduced frequency of binge eating and with improvement on several other measures of eating behavior. On 1- to 8-month follow-up, 18 of the 20 treated subjects (90%) had responded to imipramine or a subsequent antidepressant. This finding augments the growing evidence that bulimia may be related to affective disorder.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hyperphagia / complications
  • Hyperphagia / drug therapy*
  • Hyperphagia / psychology
  • Imipramine / pharmacology
  • Imipramine / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / complications
  • Mood Disorders / drug therapy
  • Placebos


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Placebos
  • Imipramine