Wednesday, 4 February 2015

New Binge-Eating Disorder Drug Vyvanse: FAQ

WebMD Health News

Feb. 3, 2015 -- The FDA has approved the first drug in the U.S. to treat binge-eating disorder, Vyvanse. The agency says it might lessen the number of food binges for people with the condition.

Vyvanse is already approved to treat ADHD.

Binge-eating disorder affects 1% to 5% of the population, or millions of Americans, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. It can lead to or contribute to obesity.

Everyone overeats from time to time, but binge eating disorder is different. It involves regularly eating a lot of food in just a few hours -- even when you're not hungry. Afterward, you feel shame or guilt about it.

For more information, WebMD turned to the FDA, drug-maker Shire, and Russell Marx, MD, chief science officer of the National Eating Disorders Association.

What is Vyvanse?

Vyvanse is a central nervous system stimulant. It was approved in 2007 to treat ADHD in people 6 and older.

How does it work?

In the two large clinical trials done by Shire, researchers found the drug worked to lessen the number of binge-eating episodes.

It's not clear how the drug helps against eating binges, says Marx, who's also the associate medical director of the Eating Recovery Center in Denver.

What did the clinical trials find?

In two studies involving more than 700 people, the drug lessened the average number of binge days more than a placebo. In one study, the drug cut the average number of binge days per week from nearly five to less than one at the end of the 12-week study. Placebo pills lessened binge days from nearly five to more than two. The second study showed similar results, according to Shire.

In a clinical trial, half of those taking the 70-mg dose of Vyvanse stopped binge eating during the 4-week period studied, compared to 21% of those taking placebo, according to a report published in JAMA Psychiatry.

While those in the clinical trials on the drug lost weight, the FDA didn't approve the drug for that use, Marx says. Even so, that would be a welcome benefit for many, since he finds that about half of people with binge-eating problems are overweight or obese.

source : New Binge-Eating Disorder Drug Vyvanse: FAQ

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