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10 - Evidence-based pharmacotherapy of eating disorders

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 August 2012

Dan Stein
Affiliation:
University of Cape Town
Bernard Lerer
Affiliation:
Hadassah-Hebrew Medical Centre
Stephen M. Stahl
Affiliation:
University of California, San Diego
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Summary

Eating disorders (EDs) are widespread, disabling, and often chronic psychiatric disorders. Anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) share amorbid preoccupation with weight and shape. This chapter reviews currently available evidence for efficacy and safety of pharmacotherapy in adults and children with EDs. It presents the pharmacotherapy for AN, BN, binge-eating disorder (BED), and night eating syndrome (NES). AN is a disease characterized by denial of illness, frequent treatment refusal, and noncompliance with pharmacological treatment due to fear of gaining weight. In the acute treatment of AN, weight gain is critical and often requires a combined approach including psychological support, nutritional rehabilitation, cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) and, for children and adolescents, family interventions. Large-scale well-designed trials should investigate combination of treatments or treatment augmentations, in order to target both eating-related symptoms and the underlying psychological and cognitive disturbances.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2012

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