Binge Eating Disorder - Treatment
Psychological and medicinal treatments are effective for many eating disorders, including binge-eating.
However, in more chronic cases, specific treatments have not yet been identified. In these cases, treatment plans often are tailored to the patient's individual needs that may include medical care and monitoring; medications; nutritional counseling; and individual, group and/or family psychotherapy.
Some patients may also need to be hospitalized to treat malnutrition or to gain weight, or for other reasons.
Treatment options for Binge Eating Disorder are similar to those used to treat bulimia. Treatment often involves a combination of options and depends on the needs of the individual.
To reduce or eliminate binge behavior, a patient may undergo nutritional counseling and psychotherapy, especially cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or be prescribed medication. CBT that has been tailored to treat bulimia also has shown to be effective in changing binging and purging behavior, and eating attitudes.
Therapy may be individually oriented or group-based. Fluoxetine and other antidepressants may reduce binge-eating episodes and help alleviate depression in some patients.
Patients with binge-eating disorder also may be prescribed appetite suppressants. Psychotherapy, especially CBT, is also used to treat the underlying psychological issues associated with binge-eating, in an individual or group environment.
FDA Warnings On Antidepressants
This information prompted the FDA, in 2005, to adopt a "black box" warning label on all antidepressant medications to alert the public about the potential increased risk of suicidal thinking or attempts in children and adolescents taking antidepressants. In 2007, the FDA proposed that makers of all antidepressant medications extend the warning to include young adults up through age 24. A "black box" warning is the most serious type of warning on prescription drug labeling.
The warning emphasizes that patients of all ages taking antidepressants should be closely monitored, especially during the initial weeks of treatment. Possible side effects to look for are worsening depression, suicidal thinking or behavior, or any unusual changes in behavior such as sleeplessness, agitation, or withdrawal from normal social situations. The warning adds that families and caregivers should also be told of the need for close monitoring and report any changes to the physician.
Results of a comprehensive review of pediatric trials conducted between 1988 and 2006 suggested that the benefits of antidepressant medications likely outweigh their risks to children and adolescents with major depression and anxiety disorders.28