Published On: July 14, 2023
Updated On: July 19, 2023
Have you been diagnosed with binge eating disorder (BED)? Are you looking for treatment options or an online psychiatrist to help in your recovery? Have you been recommended medication by your doctor? If so, we’re discussing everything you need to know about binge eating disorder medication here.
Binge eating disorder can be treated by focusing on eating habits, self-esteem, and mental health issues, but in many cases, medication can be very successful. Whether it’s through therapy, medication, or a combination of the two techniques, recovery is possible. Studies show that more than 65% of people who seek treatment for binge eating disorder are eventually able to control their binge eating episodes.
Read on to learn about medication for binge eating that’s commonly prescribed, how to be prescribed it, and more.
Multiple types of binge eating disorder treatment medication options have been found effective. Here is a list of some of the most common.
Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyvanse) is used to treat binge eating disorder in adults. It was the first FDA-approved drug for binge eating disorder, though it’s not fully understood how it works. It’s believed that the drug helps control impulsive behavior that results in binge eating behavior.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of antidepressants. Sometimes they can be prescribed to treat binge eating disorder because of how they increase chemicals in your brain that can have an impact on appetite and mood if too low. SSRIs work by increasing serotonin — a known mood booster — in the brain.
Some anti-seizure drugs like topiramate (Topamax)at times prescribed for patients. Topiramate is used to help reduce the urge for binge eating. While it lowers some people’s appetites, it has been thought to affect chemicals in the brain that can contribute to binge eating. However, caution needs to be used, as serious side effects have been associated with the use of anti-seizure drugs for binge eating disorder.
Studies have shown that people with binge eating disorder who take antidepressants are more likely to recover and stay in remission. Antidepressants can also help with depression that’s commonly associated with the eating disorder, too. It’s also important to note that antidepressants typically aren’t recommended for use on their own, or as the first treatment type for binge eating disorder. Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate is the first and only FDA-approved drug for binge eating, however, a number of off-label (not FDA approved for the prescribed condition) medications can also be successful.
Some binge eating disorder medications might include:
|Prozac||Fluoxetine||This is in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. It can help with the anxiety and depression that people with binge eating disorder commonly experience.|
|Paxil||Paroxetine||An SSRI used to treat the symptoms of depression and other disorders. Can be used alone or with other medications. Restores balance of serotonin in the brain, which can help with the depression experienced by those who have binge eating disorder.|
|Zoloft||Sertraline||SSRI that’s used to treat depression and other mood disorders like obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder, and more. Can help curb binge eating food consumption.|
|Vyvanse||Lisdexamfetamine||Can be effective in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and binge-eating disorder.|
|Topamax||Topiramate||Also known as treatment for migraine and seizure prevention. Works to reduce the urge to binge.|
Talk to your psychiatrist or healthcare professional about the possible risks and benefits associated with the above medications before starting treatment.
Recovering from binge eating disorder happens in multiple stages. If you’re ready to begin or are already working with your psychiatry provider or doctor, you can begin tackling the condition. In-person or online therapy can help you change your thought processes to address your binge eating. If you’re considering medication, the following steps can help you get binge eating disorder medication to help you in your recovery.
The first thing you should do if you’re thinking about medication for eating disorders of any kind is reach out to your licensed provider and let them know. If you haven’t already, you should consider starting therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a commonly-used form of therapy to treat binge eating disorder. CBT can work in conjunction with medication, and typically the combination of the two treatments has better results than just medication alone.
Your doctor may decide to prescribe medication if the therapy isn’t working on its own. Take your medication exactly as prescribed, and keep in close contact with your provider to ensure it’s working as it should and that you aren’t having any serious side effects.
As with any prescription, consult your doctor before you try to stop taking your binge eating disorder medication.
Deciding to take medication for eating disorders is a very personal decision. Any time you’re considering starting treatment, you need to weigh the benefits and negatives of your different options. With medication specifically, you always want to assess whether the pros outweigh the cons.
Ask about the side effects of any binge eating disorder medication your doctor is recommending. They will be a key part of your decision-making process. Consider: do the side effects outweigh any potential benefits of taking this medication? That obviously is a decision only you can make, which makes it even more important that you understand the potential side effects of any medication.
While medication treatment for binge eating disorder can be helpful, self-care habits like journaling, mindfulness, and a variety of the following therapy techniques are also recommended:
If you’ve explored various treatments for binge eating disorder and are ready to try medication, connect with an online prescriber at Talkspace today.
Dr. Muhammad Munir, MD, DFAPA, has over 20 years of clinical experience specializing in mood disorders, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, PTSD, panic disorder, and ADHD. Dr. Munir believes in “back to basics” the therapeutic alliance between the physician and patients. The hallmark of this alliance is the emphatic process whereby the patient is not only enabled, but educated and encouraged, to take an active role in their psychiatric care and wellbeing.