The British Journal of Psychiatry

Abstract

Drugs can sometimes be helpful within the overall treatment and management of anorexia nervosa. In this study we have examined the impact of clomipramine on food and activity in anorectics engaged in a treatment programme enabling them to regain normal body weight. Consumption of the drug was associated with increased appetite, hunger and calorie consumption during the early stages of treatment. There was no impact on ultimate outcome. In this study it was evident that the drug was unnecessary for weight gain, but it may be helpful in other programmes, both short and long term, where the patient has sufficient trust (to tolerate the enhanced hunger experience) but is not involved in the same behavioural constraints. However, its possible value in such programmes has not been proven here. Meanwhile, we take our findings as further evidence that clomipramine increases drive behaviour and appetite in humans and may be beneficial in the treatment of affective disorders because of this effect.