3-Feb-15 10:00 AM  CST

FDA Approves Commonly Used ADHD Drug for Treatment for Binge Eating

The FDA announced this week that the drug Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) commonly used to treat the symptoms of ADHD has also been approved to treat the symptoms associated with binge eating. Shire PLC, which manufacturers Vyvanse, estimates that nearly 2.8 million adults suffer from the effects of binge eating. Binge eat is recognized as a disorder linked to obsessive-compulsive behavior. Patients are considered to be binge eaters if they consistently binge it at least three times a week. 

Binge eating, which is on the American Psychiatric Association (APA) list of mental disorders, happens when a person consistently eats even though they are full or even when they aren’t hungry. As the APA points out, this often leads to greater damage to the individuals health by causing extensive weight gain, obesity, and other health related disease states, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Two research studies conducted by Shire showed a decrease in binge eating when patient took Vyvanse one time a day for 12 weeks. Individuals involved in the study showed a steady decrease in binge eating going from approximately 5 weekly events of binge eating to 1 event of binge eating. Although the new approval is promising for those diagnosed with binge eating disorder, health professionals warn Vyvanse is not approved as a method of weight loss and should not be used as such. Vyvanse comes with several side effects including, possible psychiatric side effects, primarily hallucinations, vascular risks that may lead to stroke or heart attack, dry mouth and insomnia.

Prior to beginning any new drug therapy patients should seek consultation with their physician and or pharmacist to learn the potential side effects associated with therapy. Vyvanse is stimulant that works on the Central Nervous System (CNS) and should be monitored regularly by the patient’s health care provider.





NBCNews, (2015) “FDA Approved ADHD drug to treat binge eating” http://www.nbcnews.com/health/diet-fitness/fda-approves-adhd-drug-treat-binge-eating-n297316, retrieved, 31.January, 2015

Rockoff, J. (2015) “Shire drug cleared to treat binge eating disorder”, Wall Street Journal, http://www.wsj.com/articles/shire-drug-cleared-to-treat-binge-eating-disorder-1422660055, retrieved, 31 January 2015

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Source: Sandy Andrews  

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