Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder

Medically Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on July 19, 2023
2 min read

Treatment of binge eating disorder is challenging, because most people feel ashamed of their disorder and try to hide their problem. Often, they're so successful that close family members and friends don't know they binge eat.

Eating disorders require a big-picture treatment plan that's tailored to meet your individual needs. The goal is to help you gain control over your eating behavior. Most often, it involves a combination of strategies.

This is a type of individual counseling that focuses on changing your thinking (cognitive therapy) and behavior (behavioral therapy). It includes practical techniques for developing healthy attitudes toward food and weight, as well as approaches for changing the way you respond to difficult situations.

Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) is approved by the FDA to treat binge eating disorder. The drug, which is also used to treat ADHD, helps reduce the number of episodes and is the first FDA-approved medication to treat binge eating disorder. The most common side effects are dry mouth, trouble sleeping, increased heart rate, and jittery feelings. But it also has some risk of serious problems, like psychiatric disturbances, heart attack, and stroke.

The antiseizure drug topiramate (Topamax) may also help, but its side effects can include memory problems, tingling sensations in fingers and toes, trouble speaking, and sedation.

Doctors may sometimes recommend antidepressants, too.

A specialist helps you restore normal eating patterns and teaches you about nutrition and a balanced diet.

Family support is very important to treatment success. It helps your family members understand your eating disorder and recognize its signs and symptoms so they can support you better.

In group therapy, you can find support and openly discuss your feelings and concerns with others who share common experiences and problems.

Like other eating disorders, binge eating disorder is a serious problem that can be solved with proper treatment. With treatment and commitment, many people with this disorder can overcome the habit of overeating and learn healthy eating patterns.