Drug Text

Not many of us know that anorexia is more a thing of the mind than of the body. As an important investigation on this front, University of Chicago professionals have found that an antipsychotic drug could treat anorexia nervosa.

In this research, a set of mice was exposed to the drug olanzapine which is generally used as an antipsychotic medication. As per the observations, the treated mice seemed to control their weight better when they practiced exercise and limited food intake. An antidepressant called fluoxetine that is normally used for anorexic patients did not appear to show positive outcomes in subjects.

“We found over and over again that olanzapine was effective in harsher conditions, less harsh conditions, adolescents, adults — it consistently worked,” cited the paper’s first author Stephanie Klenotich, graduate student in the Committee on Neurobiology at the University of Chicago Biological Sciences.

In spite of the media furor surrounding anorexia, patients do not have much option in hand with regards to its treatment. They are usually prescribed off-label drugs that are in use for psychiatric conditions. Experts believed that anorexia is a fatal psychological condition that needs an urgent solution.

A medication that patients of such disorders can take on a regular basis could result in better outcomes for them, the team added. The report titled, ‘Olanzapine, but not fluoxetine, treatment increases survival in activity-based anorexia in mice’ is published in the March 7 issue of the journal, Neuropsychopharmacology.