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Which medicines are used to treat binge eating disorder?

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Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyvanse) is the first FDA-approved drug to treat binge eating disorder in adults. It's also used to treat ADHD. It is not clear how the drug works in binge eating, but it’s thought to control the impulsive behavior that can lead to bingeing.

Sometimes, doctors will prescribe a drug not specifically approved to treat it. This is called "off-label" prescribing, and it's a common and accepted practice.

For example, antidepressants and anti-seizure drugs.

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Binge Eating Disorder: Treatment and Drugs.”

McElroy, S. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, May 2012.

American Psychiatric Association annual meeting, May 6, 2014, New York.

Jennifer J. Thomas, PhD, co-director, Eating Disorders Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; assistant professor of psychology, Harvard Medical School.

UpToDate: “Binge Eating Disorder in Adults: Overview of Treatment.”

FDA: “FDA expands uses of Vyvanse to treat binge-eating disorder.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Casarella on September 27, 2020

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Binge Eating Disorder: Treatment and Drugs.”

McElroy, S. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, May 2012.

American Psychiatric Association annual meeting, May 6, 2014, New York.

Jennifer J. Thomas, PhD, co-director, Eating Disorders Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; assistant professor of psychology, Harvard Medical School.

UpToDate: “Binge Eating Disorder in Adults: Overview of Treatment.”

FDA: “FDA expands uses of Vyvanse to treat binge-eating disorder.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Casarella on September 27, 2020

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