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Effectiveness of Olanzapine Versus Placebo in Treating Outpatients With Anorexia Nervosa

This study has been completed.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
New York State Psychiatric Institute Identifier:
First received: June 4, 2008
Last updated: September 20, 2013
Last verified: September 2013
This study will evaluate the effectiveness of the antipsychotic medication olanzapine in treating outpatients with anorexia nervosa.

Condition Intervention Phase
Eating Disorders
Drug: Olanzapine
Drug: Placebo
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Atypical Antipsychotic Medication in Anorexia Nervosa

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by New York State Psychiatric Institute:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Weight Gain [ Time Frame: Measured at Week 8 ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Anxiety [ Time Frame: Measured at Week 8 ]

Enrollment: 18
Study Start Date: October 2005
Study Completion Date: September 2010
Primary Completion Date: September 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: 1
Participants will take olanzapine.
Drug: Olanzapine
Participants will take 2.5 mg, 5.0 mg, or 10.0 mg of olanzapine once each evening for 8 weeks.
Other Name: zyprexa
Placebo Comparator: 2
Participants will take matched placebo.
Drug: Placebo
Participants will take 2.5 mg, 5.0 mg, or 10.0 mg of placebo once each evening for 8 weeks.

Detailed Description:

Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a disease of disordered eating and is characterized by self-starvation, extreme weight loss, and difficulty maintaining a normal weight. Symptoms and behaviors of AN may include distorted body image, obsessive exercise, lack of menstruation among women, binge and purge eating behaviors, and intense fear of weight gain. Furthermore, people with AN are at a high risk of other mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety, and medical complications, such as organ damage, heart failure, and osteoporosis. Current treatments for AN include nutrition counseling, psychotherapy, and medication. Although weight restoration is a treatment priority, no particular therapeutic approach for patients with AN has clear empirical support. Previous studies have suggested that certain medications usually used to treat schizophrenia, also known as atypical antipsychotic drugs, may be helpful in increasing appetite and reducing anxiety related to weight gain and eating in people with AN. Specifically, the atypical antipsychotic medication olanzapine may be effective in improving overall symptoms of AN and in restoring weight to normal levels. This study will compare the effectiveness of the antipsychotic medication olanzapine versus placebo in treating outpatients with AN.

Participation in this study will last 8 weeks. All participants will first undergo baseline assessments that will include questionnaires and interviews about AN symptoms, a physical exam, vital sign measurements, an electrocardiograph (EKG), and a blood draw. Participants will then be assigned randomly to 8 weeks of daily treatment with olanzapine or placebo. Participants will meet with a study doctor weekly over the 8 weeks of treatment. During these visits, the study doctor will monitor participants' progress, medication dosage, vital signs, and side effects. Participants will also fill out weekly questionnaires about the status of their condition and monthly repeat baseline questionnaires. In addition, participants will undergo blood draws every 2 weeks for the first month of the study and every 4 weeks for the remainder of the study. Upon completing the 8 weeks of treatment, participants will repeat the baseline assessments. During the next 5 years, participants may be contacted to complete a follow-up interview.


Ages Eligible for Study:   16 Years and older   (Child, Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Meets DSM-IV criteria (not including amenorrhea) for AN
  • Body mass index (BMI) less than 19 kg/m2 and greater than 14 kg/m2
  • Patient (or family if the patient is a minor) refuses hospitalization
  • Free of psychotropic medication (4 weeks medication free for fluoxetine and antipsychotic medication; 2 weeks medication free for all others) OR on a stable dose of an SSRI or SNRI (venlafaxine) for 4 weeks before study entry
  • Prior treatment of AN

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Any medical or psychiatric problem requiring urgent attention and/or any significant comorbid illness not likely to benefit from proposed treatments
  • Allergy to olanzapine
  • Significant orthostatic high blood pressure
  • Recent commencement of psychotherapy in the community
  • Diabetes mellitus, with a fasting serum glucose greater than 120 mg/dL or nonfasting serum glucose greater than 140 mg/dL
  • Known history of current or past jaundice
  • Known history of narrow angle glaucoma
  • Active substance abuse or dependence
  • Schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, or bipolar illness
  • Movement disorder or presence of tics
  • History of tardive dyskinesia
  • History of seizures
  • Pregnant
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00692185

United States, New York
Eating Disorders Clinic, New York State Psychiatric Institute
New York, New York, United States, 10032
Sponsors and Collaborators
New York State Psychiatric Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Principal Investigator: Evelyn Attia, MD New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University Medical Center
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: New York State Psychiatric Institute Identifier: NCT00692185     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: #5116 (MH069868-02)
1R21MH069868-01 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: June 4, 2008
Results First Received: May 28, 2009
Last Updated: September 20, 2013

Keywords provided by New York State Psychiatric Institute:
Anorexia Nervosa

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Feeding and Eating Disorders
Anorexia Nervosa
Mental Disorders
Signs and Symptoms, Digestive
Signs and Symptoms
Autonomic Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Gastrointestinal Agents
Antipsychotic Agents
Tranquilizing Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Psychotropic Drugs
Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Neurotransmitter Agents
Serotonin Agents processed this record on April 26, 2017