A new drug that treats moderate-to severe binge eating disorder (BED) in adults has been approved by FDA, The Obesity Society (TOS) has reported. The prescription drug, lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, under the brand name Vyvanse, is the first of its kind specifically indicated for BED.

BED is an eating disorder that affects only a portion of those with the medical disease obesity. While as many as 30% of people seeking obesity treatment may report some degree of binge eating, those who meet clinical criteria for BED likely represent only 7–10% of all obesity treatment seekers.

Martin Binks, secretary treasurer of TOS, said: "Given that, if untreated, BED has shown in some people to lead to reduced long-term success in behavioural weight-loss programmes and following bariatric surgery, this new tool may prove useful in the obesity treatment setting."

Susan L. McElroy, member of TOS and chief research officer, Lindner Center of HOPE and professor of psychiatry and behavioural neuroscience, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, who previously coordinated clinical research on Vyvanse, said: "It is important to consider treating BED in the context of other treatments specifically targeting obesity".

She continued, "Vyvanse is approved for treating BED, but it is not approved for weight-loss or obesity treatment and should not be considered a replacement for this treatment."