Antihistamine raises appetite in adults
Cyproheptadine appears to induce hunger in adults with poor appetite, as shown in a study.
A total of 375 patients aged 19 to 64 years with poor appetite were randomized to receive either cyproheptadine (n=189) or placebo (n=186) for 8 weeks. The primary efficacy outcome of a change in appetite was measured using the Korean version of the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System from the beginning to the end of the study period.
Other outcomes investigated were weight, anthropometrics, body composition, Simplified Nutritional Appetite Questionnaire–measured appetite, and toxicities.
At week 8, the mean change in appetite score was greater in the cyproheptadine group than in the placebo group (–2.42 vs –2.03, respectively), representing a statistically significant appetite gain with the study drug (difference, 0.38, 95 percent confidence interval, –0.73 to –0.04; p=0.0307).
Accordingly, cyproheptadine-treated patients showed significant increases in weight and body mass index.
In terms of safety, cyproheptadine was well tolerated. Somnolence was the most common adverse event, as predicted. One patient in the active treatment arm developed colitis, which was classified as a moderate adverse effect unlikely to be related to cyproheptadine.
An antihistamine and antiserotonergic drug, cyproheptadine is used to increase appetite and promote weight gain in children and adults. The present data confirm that cyproheptadine is a safe treatment option to ameliorate poor appetite in adults.
More studies are needed to establish the efficacy of cyproheptadine in older populations.