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Psychostimulants May Be Helpful in Treatment of Bulimia Nervosa

Case reports highlight six outpatients with reduction in number of binge/purge days/month

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WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For select patients, psychostimulants may be beneficial for treating bulimia nervosa, according to a study of six cases published online Jan. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Aaron Keshen, M.D., and Thomas Helson, from the Nova Scotia Health Authority in Halifax, Canada, present six cases of outpatients who were prescribed a psychostimulant for bulimia nervosa. The authors assessed the patients' number of binge/purge days per month and body mass index.

The researchers observed reductions in the number of binge/purge days per month for all patients, and one patient experienced a total remission of bulimia symptoms. There were minor fluctuations in weight, but no clinically significant weight reductions.

"Overall, these results provide preliminary support for the safety and efficacy of using psychostimulants to treat bulimia nervosa symptoms," the authors write. "The authors are not suggesting that these results generalize to all patients or that clinicians should start treating bulimia nervosa with psychostimulants, but rather that further investigation may be justified."

One author disclosed financial ties to Shire Canada.

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