Medications to treat anorexia


Literally, "anorexia" means "lack of appetite", but this definition does not fully reflect the psycho-pathological problem that lies behind this term. Anorexia nervosa is a complex eating disorder that, in contrast to obesity, consists essentially in the refusal of food.


Most of the times, pathological anorexia has its roots in psychological disorders, even if some patients become anorexic due to pathologies and pharmacological treatments (eg chemotherapy for the treatment of tumors: in this case it is not a nervous form ). Anorexia nervosa is the result of a tangle of thoughts, fears and anxieties, which establish in the mind of the person a repulsion to food: anorexics consider food as a dangerous element, responsible for the "psychological evil".

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A person suffers from anorexia nervosa when the BMI is less than 17.5; symptoms associated with anorexia include: menstrual cycle abnormalities, laxative abuse, anemia, low self-esteem, swollen ankles and feet, decreased concentration, weight loss> 15% of ideal body weight, dehydration, cold intolerance, obsession for food, excessive sport, fainting, brittle nails and hair, skin xerosis.

Information on anorexia - drugs for the treatment of anorexia is not intended to replace the direct relationship between health professional and patient. Always consult your doctor and / or specialist before taking Anorexia - Drugs for Anorexia Treatment.


The psychological disturbance that accompanies the patient suffering from anorexia is generally difficult to treat, since the therapy involves the re-establishment of the physical condition of the patient and the psychological support. For an anorexic, the term "restoration of body weight" is synonymous with "gaining weight", and the obsession of an anorexia patient is precisely to increase one's weight; this makes us understand the difficulty of having a cure similar to anorexics accepted; this is why the support of a psychotherapist can undoubtedly help the patient to come to the surface. Even drugs are a valid aid to help the anorexic increase his weight and, above all, to accept himself.

The drugs are also indicated to control and overcome all the symptoms associated with anorexia, such as bone loss, depression, alteration of the menstrual cycle, dehydration, alteration of the physiological values ​​of the blood.

Antidepressants and anxiolytics : indicated to treat the psychological causes that trigger or encourage anorexia nervosa; these drugs help the patient relax. It is recommended to avoid the administration of SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) in case of epilepsy in the context of anorexia and depression.

  • Amitriptyline (eg Laroxyl, Triptizol, Adepril): the drug belongs to the class of tricyclic antidepressants. It is also indicated for the treatment of anorexia nervosa of the pediatric age (> 9 years): it seems that a dose of drug varying from 1.25 to 2.5 mg per day results in therapeutic benefits to counteract anxiety and attitude obsessive compulsive against food. A study was carried out in which the anorexic was given a daily dose of 2.5 mg, up to a maximum of 5-10 mg: doses above 2.5 mg do not bring greater benefits than lower doses, at least in the case of anorexia nervosa.
  • Risperidone (eg Risperdal, Risperidone ACV): atypical antipsychotic drug (neuroleptic). Do not take with dementia: similar behavior increases the risk of stroke. The administration of this drug seems to give decent results, especially due to the obsessive and anxious behavior towards food. The dosage should be carefully determined by the doctor.
  • Chlorpromazine (eg Clorpr C FN, Largactil): antipsychotic and dopaminergic antagonist, used to treat schizophrenia in the context of anorexia nervosa. The drug was widely used in therapy in the past. The dose is very variable from subject to subject; for example, in the case of anorexia nervosa associated with psychosis, the indicative dose is 25-50 mg, to be taken intramuscularly (the dose may gradually increase in subsequent injections); to treat anorexia in the context of delusions, the recommended dose of this drug is 10 mg, to be taken orally, 3-4 times a day.
  • Olanzapine (eg Zyprexa, Zyprexa Velotab, Zypadhera, Zalasta, Olanzapine Mylan, Olanzapine Teva, Olanzapine Neopharma, Olanzapine apotex, Olanzapine Glenmark Europe, Olazax): an atypical antipsychotic also used to treat anorexia nervosa, especially in children older than 9 years. Indicatively, the optimal posology to treat anorexia disorders is between 1.25 mg and 2.5 mg, to be taken orally, once a day. Doses above 2.5 mg do not suggest further improvements. Consult your doctor.

Corticosteroids :

  • Prednisolone (eg. Solprene, Deltamidrina): indicatively, the recommended dose as an adjunct to treatment against anorexia is 15-30 mg / day. Consult your doctor before taking corticosteroids; do not suspend the processing on your own initiative.
  • Dexamethasone (eg. Decadron, Soldesam): it is recommended to take a variable dose of 2 to 4 mg a day. Consult your doctor.

Hormone therapy :

  • Megestrol (eg. Megace, Megexia, Gestroltex): for the treatment of anorexia, it is recommended to take the drug in the form of oral suspension at an indicative dose of 800 mg per day. Alternatively, you can take 625mg / 5ml (concentrated formula) or 800mg / 20ml. The weight gain derived from the administration of this active substance represents a side effect (curative, in this case), favored by the increase in appetite. The drug is also widely used for the treatment of certain cancers (breast and endometrium).

Vitamin D and Calcium (eg Eurocal D3, Calinat, Folanemin): we have seen that the patient suffering from anorexia has a bone decalcification, therefore, to cope with this problem, the administration of vitamin D and calcium is particularly suitable. The dose should be established by the doctor after accurate diagnosis of the patient.

Antihistamines: some antihistamines work by stimulating the appetite, therefore increasing the weight of those who eat them.

  • Ciproeptadine (eg Periactin): antiserotoninic agent, indicated for the treatment of anorexia nervosa. It is recommended to start therapy with an active dose of 2 mg, to be taken orally 4 times a day. For the maintenance dose, it is recommended to gradually increase the dosage of 8 mg every 3 weeks, always taken 4 times a day. In general, the therapeutic effect to treat anorexia nervosa is reached within 32 mg a day. Consult your doctor.

The support of friends and family is essential to help the anorexia sufferer overcome their fears and anxieties: in this way, the patient is stimulated to take more calories (at least 1, 500-1, 800 Kcal per day), understanding that the food is not an enemy.

The main problem is that patients with anorexia nervosa tend not to give weight to their problem, not realizing it: the patient's lack of collaboration is a heavy obstacle, which is not always possible to overcome.

One dies of anorexia: drugs and psychological therapies are essential to ensure the survival of the patient.


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