Psychopharmacologic Management of Eating Disorders

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2022 Jul;24(7):345-351. doi: 10.1007/s11920-022-01340-5. Epub 2022 May 16.


Purpose of review: Identifying medications that may be used as therapeutic agents for eating disorders is a longstanding focus of research, with varying degrees of success. The present review consolidates the most recent findings on pharmacological treatment of three eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and binge eating disorder (BED).

Recent findings: Recent research suggests that olanzapine demonstrates positive effects on weight gain among outpatients with AN. There are fewer recent advances in psychopharmacological treatment for BN and BED, likely due to the relative success of prior medication trials. Olanzapine is the first medication to safely promote weight gain among individuals with AN. Fluoxetine is FDA-approved for BN treatment, and lisdexamfetamine is FDA-approved for BED treatment. BN and BED also generally respond well to SSRIs prescribed off-label. Research on psychopharmacological treatments for other eating disorders, such as avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder and other specified feeding and eating disorders, are sorely needed.

Keywords: Anorexia nervosa; Binge eating disorder; Bulimia nervosa; Eating disorders; Medication; Psychopharmacology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anorexia Nervosa* / drug therapy
  • Binge-Eating Disorder* / drug therapy
  • Bulimia Nervosa* / drug therapy
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Olanzapine / therapeutic use
  • Weight Gain


  • Olanzapine