Antipsychotics for the treatment of anorexia nervosa

J Clin Psychiatry. 2012 Jun;73(6):e757-66. doi: 10.4088/JCP.12r07691.

Are antipsychotics effective for the treatment of anorexia nervosa? Results from a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Kishi T, Kafantaris V, Sunday S, Sheridan EM, Correll CU.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the utility of antipsychotics for weight gain and improvement of illness-related psychopathology in patients with anorexia nervosa.

DATA SOURCES:

PubMed, the Cochrane Library databases, and PsycINFO citations from the inception of the databases until March 27, 2012, were searched without language restrictions using the following keywords: randomized, random, randomly, and anorexia nervosa. In addition, we hand-searched for additional studies eligible for inclusion in this meta-analysis and contacted authors for unpublished data.

STUDY SELECTION:

Included in this study were randomized placebo- or usual care-controlled trials of antipsychotics in patients with anorexia nervosa.

DATA EXTRACTION:

Two independent evaluators extracted data. The primary outcome of interest was body weight, expressed as the standardized mean difference (SMD) between the 2 groups in baseline to endpoint change of body mass index (BMI), endpoint BMI, or daily weight change. SMD, risk ratio (RR), and number needed to harm (NNH) ± 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated.

RESULTS:

Across 8 studies (mean duration = 9.6 weeks; range, 7-12 weeks), 221 patients (mean age = 22.5 years, 219 [99.1%] females) with anorexia nervosa were randomly assigned to olanzapine (n = 54), quetiapine (n = 15), risperidone (n = 18), pimozide (n = 8), sulpiride (n = 9), placebo (n = 99), or usual care (n = 18). Both individually (P = .11 to P = .47) and pooled together (SMD = 0.27, 95% CI, -0.01 to 0.56; P = .06, I2 = 0%; 7 studies, n = 195), weight/BMI effects were not significantly different between antipsychotics and placebo/usual care. Moreover, pooled antipsychotics and placebo/usual care did not differ regarding scores on questionnaires related to anorexia nervosa (P = .32, 5 studies, n = 114), body shape (P = .91, 4 studies, n = 100), depressive symptoms (P = .08, 4 studies, n = 103), and anxiety (P = .53, 4 studies, n = 121). Individually, quetiapine (1 study, n = 33) outperformed usual care regarding eating disorder attitudes (P = .01) and anxiety (P = .02). While rates of dropout due to any reason (P = .83, I2 = 0%) and due to adverse events (P = .54, I2 = 5%) were similar in both groups, drowsiness/sedation occurred significantly more often with antipsychotics than placebo/usual care (RR = 3.69, 95% CI, 1.37-9.95; I2 = 67%, P = .01; NNH = 2, P = .001; 5 studies, n = 129), but most other adverse effects were only sparsely reported.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although limited by small samples, this meta-analysis failed to demonstrate antipsychotic efficacy for body weight and related outcomes in females with anorexia nervosa.

Source: The Zucker Hillside Hospital, Psychiatry Research, North Shore—Long Island Jewish Health System, Glen Oaks, NY, USA.

 

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