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Bulimia nervosa in adults: Pharmacotherapy

Scott J Crow, MD
Section Editor
Joel Yager, MD
Deputy Editor
David Solomon, MD


Pharmacotherapy is efficacious for bulimia nervosa and may be included in the treatment regimen as part of multimodal therapy [1-3]. Antidepressants have been most widely studied, and are the drugs of choice due to their demonstrated efficacy and tolerability [2,4-8].

The neurobiology of bulimia nervosa and the mechanism of action for pharmacotherapy are not known [9]. One hypothesis is that central nervous system serotonin pathways are disturbed in at least some patients [10,11].  

Pharmacotherapy for bulimia nervosa is reviewed here. The epidemiology, neurobiology, clinical features, assessment, diagnosis, other treatments and outcome, and medical complications of bulimia nervosa and their management are discussed separately.

(See "Eating disorders: Overview of epidemiology, clinical features, and diagnosis", section on 'Bulimia nervosa'.)

(See "Bulimia nervosa in adults: Clinical features, course of illness, assessment, and diagnosis".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jul 17, 2017.
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