The British Journal of Psychiatry
Suppression of eating by fenfluramine in patients with bulimia nervosa.
P H Robinson, S A Checkley, G F Russell


Fifteen patients with bulimia nervosa received fenfluramine (60 mg po) or placebo under double-blind, randomly ordered conditions. Two hours later food was presented. Significantly less food was eaten after fenfluramine and the quantity eaten was inversely correlated with serum fenfluramine levels. Significantly fewer patients reported bulimic symptoms during the test after fenfluramine, but no significant effect was demonstrated after leaving the ward. Fenfluramine caused drowsiness but did not reduce hunger ratings. Similarly, eating failed to reduce hunger ratings normally in the patients. These findings suggest that in patients with bulimia nervosa, hunger is reported abnormally and eating is suppressed by fenfluramine. Bulimic symptoms were probably reduced by fenfluramine, which may prove to be a useful treatment for bulimia nervosa.