Abstract and Keywords
This chapter reviews the limited studies relevant to psychopharmacology in children and adolescents with eating disorders and discusses approaches to treating comorbid diagnoses. Promising research in neuroscience is presented and future directions that may lead to more effective interventions are discussed. No randomized controlled trials demonstrate efficacy for any psychotropic medication for children or adolescents with eating disorders. All medications used in children and adolescents specifically for treatment of an eating disorder are considered “off-label” as there are no medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this use in this population. Severe food restriction and emaciation, or binge eating and purging during periods of critical brain development may alter brain function permanently and make recovery challenging. There is insufficient evidence at this time to support prescribing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or atypical neuroleptics for the treatment of anorexia nervosa, and evidence for efficacy of SSRIs for bulimia nervosa exists only for adults.
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