The effect of atypical antipsychotic medications in individuals with anorexia nervosa: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Jocelyn Lebow, Leslie A. Sim, Patricia J. Erwin, M. Hassan Murad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations


Objective: Given that atypical antipsychotic medications have been increasingly prescribed for improving weight gain in anorexia nervosa (AN), we conducted a systematic review and meta-analyses to estimate the influence of atypical antipsychotics on BMI, eating disorder, and psychiatric symptoms in individuals with AN. Method: Independent reviewers selected studies and extracted study characteristics, methodologic quality, and outcomes for the intention-to-treat group from randomized clinical trials comparing the effect of atypical antipsychotic use to placebo or an active control treatment on BMI. Results: Compared with placebo, atypical antipsychotics were associated with a nonsignificant increase in BMI (weighted mean difference, WMD = 0.18, 95% CI: -0.36, 0.72; I2 = 26%) and a nonsignificant effect on the drive for thinness and body dissatisfaction. Compared with placebo or active control, these medications led to an increase in anxiety and overall eating disorder symptoms. However, there was a significant reduction over placebo or active control on level of depression. © 2012 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2013)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-339
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes



  • anorexia nervosa
  • atypical antipsychotic
  • meta-analyses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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