Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Medicine: fluoxetine doesn't help with anorexia relapses

From earlier last month, Timothy Walsh and company at Columbia found out, surprisingly and disappointedly, that Prozac is basically no better than placebo for anorexic patients without comorbid anxiety or depression. Notably, about one half of the sample dropped out, which isn't surprising at all for a disorder with such a significant denial/personality component. The news article doesn't actually address the issue of comorbidity, while the test subjects in the original research article seem to have reasonably similar prior psychiatric difficulties prior to the study, with a slight increase in depression in the fluoxetine group. The study wasn't powered to pick up sub-groups for whom fluoxetine might be beneficial, but it looks like anorexia will persist as a psychiatric illness that we're still pretty ineffective at treating.

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