MEDICATIONS FOR EATING DISORDERS

The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medications listed below. Only the most general side effects are included, so ask your health care provider if you need to take any specialprecautions. Use each of these medications as recommended by your health care provider, or according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your health care provider.

Medications do not cure eating disorders, although they may help certain aspects of eating disorders and the physical and psychiatric conditions associated with them. Not all people with eating disorders respond to these medications.

Prescription Medications

SELECTIVE SEROTONIN REUPTAKE INHIBITORS (SSRIS)

1: Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
2: Paroxetine (Paxil)
3: Fluoxetine (Prozac)
4: Sertraline (Zoloft)

TRICYCLIC ANTIDEPRESSANTS

1: Imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil)
2: Desipramine (Norpramin, Pertofrane)

ATYPICAL ANTIDEPRESSANTS

1: Venlafaxine (Effexor)
2: Nefazodone (Serzone)
3: Bupropion (Wellbutrin)

APPETITE STIMULANTS

1: Cyproheptadine (Periactin)

OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICATIONS

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
1: Calcium
2: Vitamin D

PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS

SELECTIVE SEROTONIN REUPTAKE INHIBITORS (SSRIS)

1: Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
2: Paroxetine (Paxil)
3: Fluoxetine (Prozac)
4: Sertraline (Zoloft)

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) affect the concentration of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, which plays a role in anxiety, depression, and possibly eating disorders. These drugs can be especially helpful for bulimia. They have also been shown to be helpful for weight maintenance and for resolving mood and anxiety symptoms associated with both anorexia and bulimia. Improvement is usually seen four to six weeks after beginning treatment.

POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS INCLUDE:

1: Nausea
2: Diarrhea
3: Insomnia
4: Sexual dysfunction

TRICYCLIC ANTIDEPRESSANTS

1:Imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil)
2:Desipramine (Norpramin, Pertofrane)

Tricyclic antidepressants are thought to regulate serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. They can be helpful for bulimia and may be used to treat co-occurring mood or anxiety disorders. These drugs are highly toxic if taken in large doses. Therefore, they are often not prescribed for suicidal patients.

POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS INCLUDE:

1: Dizziness
2: Dry mouth
3: Constipation
4: Difficulty urinating
5: Weight gain
6: Low blood pressure
7: Sexual dysfunction

ATYPICAL ANTIDEPRESSANTS

1: Venlafaxine (Effexor)
2: Nefazodone (Serzone)
3: Bupropion (Wellbutrin)

Atypical antidepressants affect the concentration of the neurotransmitter serotonin. They can be helpful for bulimia and may be used to treat co-occurring mood or anxiety disorders. Improvement is usually seen four to six weeks after beginning treatment.

POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS INCLUDE:

1: Nausea
2: Nervousness
3: Diminished sex drive

APPETITE STIMULANTS

1: Cyproheptadine (Periactin)

If you have anorexia nervosa, cyproheptadine is an antihistamine that may be prescribed to help stimulate your appetite. If you have bulimia, this drug is not helpful.

POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS INCLUDE:

1: Drowsiness
2: Upset stomach or stomach pain
3: Dryness of mouth, nose, or throat
4: Increased appetite
5: Weight gain
6: Thickening of mucus

OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICATIONS

VITAMIN AND MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS

1: Calcium
2: Vitamin D

If you have anorexia nervosa, your health care provider may ask you to take a calcium supplement (1000 to 1500 mg/day) and a multivitamin containing vitamin D (400 IU/day). These supplements help prevent bone loss that results from inadequate nutrient intake and low hormone levels seen in anorexia.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Whenever you are taking a prescription medication, take the following precautions:

1: Take them as directed, not more, not less, not at a different time.
2: Do not stop taking them without consulting your health care provider.
3: Don’t share them with anyone else.
4: Know what effects and side effects to expect, and report them to your health care provider.
5: If you are taking more than one drug, even if it is over-the-counter, be sure to check with a physician or pharmacist about drug interactions.
6: Plan ahead for refills so you don’t run out.

Request a Refill

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