Conflicts of Interest: This research was carried out independently by the Center for Eating Disorders, Department of Endocrinology, Odense University Hospital. Competing interests: JF and AF have received financial support from the Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University for the submitted work. The authors have had no financial relationships in the previous three years with any organizations that might have an interest in the submitted work, and no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.
Dronabinol in severe, enduring anorexia nervosa: A randomized controlled trial
Article first published online: 14 SEP 2013
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 47, Issue 1, pages 18–23, January 2014
How to Cite
Andries, A., Frystyk, J., Flyvbjerg, A. and Støving, R. K. (2014), Dronabinol in severe, enduring anorexia nervosa: A randomized controlled trial. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 47: 18–23. doi: 10.1002/eat.22173
Supported from Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University.
- Issue published online: 10 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 14 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 7 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Received: 14 MAR 2013
- anorexia nervosa;
- eating disorder inventory
The evidence for pharmacological treatment of severe, longstanding anorexia nervosa (AN) is sparse and the few controlled pharmacologic studies have focused on a narrow range of drugs. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of treatment with a synthetic cannabinoid agonist on body weight and eating disorder-related psychopathological personality traits in women with severe, enduring AN.
This add-on, prospective, randomized, double blind, controlled crossover study was conducted between 2008 and 2011 at a specialized care center for eating disorders. Twenty-five women over 18 years with AN of at least 5 years duration were randomized to treatment with either dronabinol-placebo or placebo-dronabinol. In addition to the standardized baseline therapeutic regime, the participants received dronabinol, 2.5 mg twice daily for 4 weeks and matching placebo for 4 weeks, separated by a 4-week wash-out period. Primary outcome was the mean change in body weight. Secondary outcome was score changes on the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (EDI-2). Data were analyzed for the 24 patients who completed the trial.
During dronabinol treatment, participants gained 0.73 kg (t = 2.86, df = 22, p < 0.01) above placebo without significant psychotropic adverse events. Dronabinol significantly predicted weight gain in a multiple linear regression including EDI-2 body dissatisfaction score and leptin. EDI-2 subscale scores showed no significant changes over time.
Dronabinol therapy was well tolerated. During four weeks of exposure it induced a small but significant weight gain in the absence of severe adverse events. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2014; 47:18–23)