There May Be a Pill to Treat Binge Eating Disorder

A recent study has found that a drug, usually used to treat ADHD, could also be effective in combating binge-eating disorders
Staff Writer
There May Be a Pill to Treat Binge Eating Disorder

Daniela Brown

This medicinal treatment could open the door for pills to cure other eating disorders.

Previously, eating disorders like binge eating disorder (the uncontrollable urge to repeatedly eat an excessive amount of food without a sense of control), have been treated mainly through forms of therapy and occasionally with epilepsy medication. But a recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry has found that the drug lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (more commonly used to treat ADHD in children and adults), could actually be useful in treating binge eating disorder.

When people participating in the study took the drug every day for 14 weeks, half of the 260 patients stopped binge eating completely, and most of the other participants were also affected by the drug. The correlation between ADHD and binge eating disorder lies in the reward center of the brain. According to Time, people with binge eating disorder and ADHD both have trouble with impulse control, and this is exactly the part of the brain that Vyvnase (the common name for the medicine) targets.

But how effective would the drug be in the long term?

"To my mind, psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavior therapy, is preferable as it aims to help patients develop the crucial skills they need to better handle all the triggers in our environment that may otherwise pull them into a cycle of excessive eating," Dr. Suzanne Mazzeo, a professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, told CBS.

Either way, researchers claim that more study is needed before Vyvnase can be marketed as a binge eating disorder treatment.  

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