ADHD Drug Could Be the Answer for Binge Eating Disorder

An estimated 4 million Americans suffer from binge eating disorder (BED), or recurrent episodes of excessive food consumption that can lead to numerous health problems. A new clinical trial shows a popular drug used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is effective in combating BED.

Researchers at the Lindner Center of Hope Research Institute in Mason, Ohio, compared the ADHD drug lisdexamfetamine with a placebo in more than 500 adults with moderate to severe BED in a randomized clinical trial from May 2011 through January 2012. The medication was administered in dosages of 30, 50 or 70 mg/day or a placebo. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Lisdexamfetamine in 2007 to treat ADHD.

Lead researcher Dr. Susan McElroy told the team decided on doing a trial with lisdexamfetamine specifically because both BED and ADHD can show signs of excessive impulsivity, obesity and dopamine dysfunction.