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Effect of Intranasal Oxytocin on Appetite and Caloric Intake in Men and Women

This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Elizabeth Austen Lawson, Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier:
First received: January 11, 2012
Last updated: April 28, 2017
Last verified: April 2017

Exciting advances have led to the concept that hormones can modulate appetite and food intake. Oxytocin is a peptide hormone that is released in regions throughout the brain, including areas involved in food motivation. Animal studies suggest that oxytocin may reduce food intake. The effects of oxytocin administration on eating behavior in humans, which could have important implications in eating-related disorders ranging from obesity to anorexia nervosa, have not been investigated. This double-blind placebo-controlled cross-over study of single-dose oxytocin administration investigates whether:

  1. Caloric intake will decrease following administration of oxytocin versus placebo
  2. Appetite will decrease following administration of oxytocin versus placebo
  3. Resting energy expenditure will increase following administration of oxytocin versus placebo

Condition Intervention Phase
Eating Behavior
Drug: Oxytocin
Drug: Placebo
Early Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor
Primary Purpose: Other
Official Title: Effect of Intranasal Oxytocin on Appetite and Caloric Intake in Humans

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Massachusetts General Hospital:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Caloric intake [ Time Frame: +60 minutes after drug/placebo ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Appetite [ Time Frame: +55 (fasting) and +90 minutes (post-prandial) after drug/placebo ]
    Assessed using a Visual Analogue Scale

  • Resting energy expenditure [ Time Frame: +30 minutes after drug/placebo ]
    Assessed using metabolic cart

Estimated Enrollment: 140
Study Start Date: January 2012
Estimated Study Completion Date: January 2018
Estimated Primary Completion Date: January 2018 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Oxytocin
Intranasal oxytocin
Drug: Oxytocin
Intranasal oxytocin 24 IU single-dose administration
Other Name: Syntocinon (Novartis)
Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Intranasal placebo
Drug: Placebo
Intranasal Placebo single-dose administration


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 45 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 18-45 years old
  • BMI 18.5-24.9, 25-40
  • Regular breakfast eater (at least 4 times per week)
  • Stable weight within the past three months

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Psychiatric disease
  • Use of psychotropic medications
  • History of eating disorder
  • History of excessive exercise within the last three months
  • History of diabetes mellitus
  • Active substance abuse
  • Hematocrit below normal range
  • Gastrointestinal tract surgery (including gastrectomy, gastric bypass surgery, and small or large bowel resection)
  • History of cardiovascular disease (such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, valvular heart disease, coronary heart disease, or coronary artery spasms)
  • Untreated thyroid disease
  • Tobacco use
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01513499

United States, Massachusetts
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02114
Sponsors and Collaborators
Massachusetts General Hospital
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth A Lawson, MD Massachusetts General Hospital
  More Information

Responsible Party: Elizabeth Austen Lawson, Assistant in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier: NCT01513499     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: MGH1004
Study First Received: January 11, 2012
Last Updated: April 28, 2017
Individual Participant Data  
Plan to Share IPD: Undecided

Keywords provided by Massachusetts General Hospital:
Eating behavior

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Reproductive Control Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs processed this record on May 24, 2017