Binge-eating disorder is characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating accompanied by feelings of loss of control and marked distress. The prevalence of binge-eating disorder in the general population is 2-3% and it usually occurs in conjunction with obesity which can have serious health consequences. Relative to other obese people people with binge-eating disorder have higher rates of mental-health problems, more medical complaints and psychosocial impairment and poorer quality of life. Psychological treatments, including cognitive behaviour therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy, have proved effective at reducing binge-eating but do not always lead to much weight loss so research has also concentrated on pharmacological approaches to the problem. A U.S. trial of an anti-obesity drug called sibutramine compared its effectiveness to that of a placebo in a study of 304 binge eaters over a 24-week period. Those taking sibutramine had a significantly greater reduction in weekly binge frequency, a higher weight loss, less days of bingeing and a reduction in eating pathology. However, the drug was associated with a significantly higher incidence of headache, dry mouth, constipation, insomnia and dizziness.
Wilfley, Denise E. - Efficacy of sibutramine for the treatment of binge eating disorder: a randomized multicenter placebo-controlled double blind study American Journal of Psychiatry January 2008, 165(1), 51-58