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A Possible Medication for Binge Eating Disorder: Vyvanse


A medication to relieve symptoms of binge eating disorder (BED) is being tested. If approved, it will be the first BED prescription drug available.

The medication’s approval rests on the third-phase results of a randomized trial; however, the second phase results were promising. The drug is called lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) and is already approved for the treatment of ADHD.

A Bit About BED

BED is characterized by excessive food consumption accompanied by a backwash of psychological distress. People with BED usually feel a lack of control over their eating behavior and are frequently faced with secondary issues such as obesity, depression or severe metabolic imbalances.

The Study

Phase two of the lisdexamfetamine study involved 213 people with moderate to severe BED.

  1. The participants recorded their binge-eating episodes in a daily diary for a two week baseline (no placebo or drug) period, through 11 weeks of taking a placebo or drug, and during a one week follow-up.
  2. Each person was assigned either a placebo or a daily dose of lisdexamfetamine; drug doses were 30, 50, or 70 mg/day.
  3. The 30mg dose was not more effective than the placebo.
  4. Those subjects on 50mg/day of lisdexamfetamine went from a baseline average of 4.54 binge days per week to 0.31 per week (at 11 weeks). Those taking the placebo went from 4.29 binge days per week to 1.13 per week (at 11 weeks).
  5. Study subjects on 70mg/day had the best results, going from a baseline of 4.47 binge days per week to 0.11 after 11 weeks.
  6. Of the 70 mg/day group, 67 percent had no binge eating episodes for one week, at week 11. That was true for 56 percent of the 50mg/day group, and for 34 percent of those on the placebo.

Why Vyvanse?

BED has been associated with abnormal signaling by the brain's norepinephrine and dopamine neurotransmitter networks. Lisdexamfetamine works by inhibiting dopamine re-uptake, so in effect it increases the available dopamine in the brain. This drug also stimulates the release of monoamine neurotransmitters, those thought to be involved with emotion, arousal, and cognition.

Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, or Vyvanse, is considered a central nervous system stimulant. In children and adults with ADHD it diminishes restlessness and increases the ability to concentrate. If approved for use with BED it will provide another treatment option for those struggling with stubborn symptoms.

Source: Clinical Neurology News