European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 187–189 | Cite as

Mirtazapine in the treatment of adolescent anorexia nervosa

Case–control study
  • Michal HrdlickaEmail author
  • Irena Beranova
  • Renata Zamecnikova
  • Tomas Urbanek



Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious and potentially life-threatening psychiatric disorder. Pharmacotherapeutic possibilities still remain limited. We sought to determine if there was a positive effect on body weight and body mass index (BMI) in AN patients being treated for depression or anxiety with mirtazapine.


Using a case–control design, we found nine female patients with AN who had been treated with mirtazapine for depression or anxiety during hospitalization in our department. We also found nine female controls with AN, who had not received any pharmacotherapy. The two groups of patients were matched according to age and BMI. Case and control groups did not differ significantly in age (15.2 ± 1.9 Vs. 14.7 ± 1.7 years; P = 0.549), or in BMI (15.6 ± 2.3 Vs. 15.6 ± 2.1; P = 0.946) at baseline. Weight and BMI were evaluated at baseline and again after the patients had completed 1, 2, 3 and 4 weeks of treatment.


The mean dose of mirtazapine was 21.7 ± 1.8 mg at the end of week 4. Using ANOVA Repeated Measures, we found no significant differences between cases and controls with regard to weight (P = 0.981) or BMI (P = 0.576). However, there was a non-significant trend in patients which had been treated with mirtazapine which showed slightly more improvement, in the measured parameters, at the end of weeks 1, 2 and 3, compared to controls.


Results are limited by small sample size. However, the use of mirtazapine could be useful in the treatment of AN in adolescence.

Key words

anorexia nervosa treatment antidepressants mirtazapine 



Supported by grant MSM 0021620849.


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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag Darmstadt 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michal Hrdlicka
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Irena Beranova
    • 1
  • Renata Zamecnikova
    • 1
  • Tomas Urbanek
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Child Psychiatry, 2nd Medical SchoolCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.1st Medical SchoolCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic
  3. 3.Institute of PsychologyAcademy of SciencesBrnoCzech Republic

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