Wasting Away: Prozac loses promise as anorexia nervosa fighter | Science News



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Wasting Away: Prozac loses promise as anorexia nervosa fighter

12:04pm, June 14, 2006

Psychiatrists often prescribe fluoxetine, or Prozac, to people suffering from the difficult-to-treat, potentially fatal condition known as anorexia nervosa. Yet the medication appears to provide no benefit in treating the eating disorder, a new investigation reports.

Symptoms of anorexia nervosa consist of a refusal to eat enough to maintain adequate body weight, intense fears of gaining weight, and disturbed thinking about food, weight, and body image. The predominantly female ailment often includes a denial of the seriousness of weight loss and refusal to participate in treatment.

In some cases, binge eating and purging occur periodically.

National surveys suggest that about 1 in 1,000 adults develops anorexia nervosa. A higher prevalence, 1 in 100, shows up among teenage girls and young women. The illness frequently occurs with mental ailments, such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, that respond to Prozac treatment. Clinicians had anticipated sim

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