A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial of Low-Dose Testosterone Therapy in Women With Anorexia Nervosa.

About this resource

Context Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a psychiatric illness with considerable morbidity and no approved medical therapies. We have shown that relative androgen deficiency in AN is associated with greater depression and anxiety symptom severity. Objective To determine whether low-dose testosterone therapy is an effective endocrine-targeted therapy for AN. Design Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Setting Clinical research center. Participants Ninety women, 18 to 45 years, with AN and free testosterone levels below the median for healthy women. Intervention Transdermal testosterone, 300 ?g daily, or placebo patch for 24 weeks. Main Outcome Measures Primary end point: body mass index (BMI). Secondary end points: depression symptom severity [Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D)], anxiety symptom severity [Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A)], and eating disorder psychopathology and behaviors. Results Mean BMI increased by 0.0 ± 1.0 kg/m2 in the testosterone group and 0.5 ± 1.1 kg/m2 in the placebo group (P = 0.03) over 24 weeks. At 4 weeks, there was a trend toward a greater decrease in HAM-D score (P = 0.09) in the testosterone vs placebo group. At 24 weeks, mean HAM-D and HAM-A scores decreased similarly in both groups [HAM-D: ?2.9 ± 4.9 (testosterone) vs ?3.0 ± 5.0 (placebo), P = 0.72; HAM-A: ?4.5 ± 5.3 (testosterone) vs ?4.3 ± 4.4 (placebo), P = 0.25]. There were no significant differences in eating disorder scores between groups. Testosterone therapy was safe and well tolerated with no increase in androgenic side effects compared with placebo. Conclusion Low-dose testosterone therapy for 24 weeks was associated with less weight gain—and did not lead to sustained improvements in depression, anxiety, or disordered eating symptoms—compared with placebo in women with AN.

AuthorKimball, Allison; Schorr, Melanie; Meenaghan, Erinne; Bachmann, Katherine N.; Eddy, Kamryn T.; Misra, Madhusmita; Lawson, Elizabeth A.; Kreiger-Benson, Elana; Herzog, David B.; Koman, Stuart; Keane, Robert J.; Ebrahimi, Seda; Schoenfeld, David; Klibanski,
JournalThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metaboli
Year2019

See also

Anorexia nervosa treatment with olanzapine

Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is a severe psychiatric disease with dangerous medical implications and potentially lethal.

Read more

Ego-syntonicity and ego-dystonicity of eating-related intrusive thoughts in patients with eating disorders

The main objective of the present study was to analyse the role of the ego-dystonicity and ego-syntonicity of eating disorder intrusive thoughts (EDITs) in the genesis and maintenance of eating disorders (EDs).

Read more

Alterations in white matter microstructure in women recovered from anorexia nervosa

OBJECTIVE: A recent study of ill individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) reported microstructural alterations in white matter integrity including lower fractional anisotropy and higher mean diffusivity.

Read more

Eating disorders in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder: Prevalence and clinical correlates

The objective is to evaluate the prevalence and associated clinical characteristics of eating disorders (ED) in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).This is a cross-sectional study comparing 815 patients with OCD.

Read more

Help us improve!

Give us feedback!

We will continue throughout 2020 to update and improve the NEDC website and welcome any feedback you may have on the site.

Provide feedback