Neuroleptics in the short-term treatment of anorexia nervosa. A double-blind placebo-controlled study with sulpiride.

W Vandereycken

Abstract

There is a remarkable lack of controlled investigations about the usefulness of psychotropic drugs in anorexia nervosa despite the popular use of neuroleptics in these patients. Inspired by a previous study using pimozide, a double-blind placebo-controlled cross-over study with sulpiride was carried out in 18 female anorexia nervosa inpatients. No direct effect of sulpiride has been established with regard to behavioural and attitudinal characteristics as measured by behaviour observation scales as well as by two self-report questionnaires (Eating Attitudes Test, Body Attitudes Test). Regarding daily weight gain, sulpiride was on the whole superior to placebo, especially in the first treatment period of three weeks. In the cross-over analysis, however, this effect did not reach statistical significance.