Pharmacologic treatment of binge eating disorder

Authors

  • William P. Carter,

    Corresponding author
    1. Biological Psychiatry Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Biological Psychiatry Laboratory, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478
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  • James I. Hudson,

    1. Biological Psychiatry Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Justine K. Lalonde,

    1. Biological Psychiatry Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Lindsay Pindyck,

    1. Biological Psychiatry Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts
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  • Susan L. McElroy,

    1. Division of Psychopharmacology Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio
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  • Harrison G. Pope Jr.

    1. Biological Psychiatry Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
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Abstract

Objective

To review the findings from pharmacologic trials of binge eating disorder (BED) and to provide guidelines for pharmacologic treatment.

Methods

The literature was searched for studies of pharmacologic treatment of BED and related conditions, such as nonpurging bulimia nervosa.

Results

Placebo-controlled studies of desipramine, fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram, dexfenfluramine, sibutramine, and topiramate have demonstrated the efficacy of these agents in the treatment of BED. An open trial of venlafaxine has offered preliminary evidence for the efficacy of this medication. Guidelines for pharmacologic management of BED are provided.

Conclusions

The literature offers support for the use of agents from three categories of medication (antidepressants, appetite suppressants, and anticonvulsants) in the treatment of BED. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 34: S74–S88, 2003.

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