Scientists have discovered that certain types of biochemical activity in the brain appear to be characteristic of individuals with eating disorders. Certain medications may help to correct these problems. Although only one type of approved eating disorder medication (for bulimia nervosa) is available, different medications may alleviate some symptoms of eating disorders.
Eating Disorder Medication for Anorexia Nervosa
Although no medication is approved specifically for anorexia treatment, doctors often prescribe antidepressant medication to help treat the psychological symptoms of this disorder. Depression is common in individuals with anorexia nervosa, although doctors aren’t sure if depression is a cause or an effect of anorexia.
Doctors are certain, though, that since depression helps to perpetuate the disorder, antidepressants may help to break this continuum. Doctors often prescribe antidepressants after anorexic patients have gained weight in order to help maintain this healthy weight and normal eating habits.
Anti-psychotic drugs and anti-anxiety medication can also reduce disordered thinking and anxiety related to eating, which may facilitate proper eating habits and weight gain.
Eating Disorder Medication for Bulimia Nervosa
Antidepressant medications may treat some symptoms of bulimia. Studies show that bulimia patients generally benefit from taking depression medication, even if they aren’t depressed.
At present, fluoxetine is the only antidepressant approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an eating disorder medication for bulimia.