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February 2, 2015

FDA Approval of Vyvanse Means More Prescribing Options for Obesity Medicine Physicians

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Physician members of the Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) applaud the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to approve Vyvanse, a prescription drug proven to help treat binge-eating disorder.

Vyvanse helps patients control frequent bouts of overeating and curb behaviors associated with binge-eating disorder, including eating excessively without feeling full, eating quickly, eating when not feeling hungry, and feeling depressed or guilty after eating.

The National Eating Disorders Association recognizes binge-eating disorder as its own category of diagnostic mental disorders. In addition to distress and other mental characteristics of binge-eating disorder, there are associated physical health risks, such as obesity.

“Binge-eating disorder is common within the obesity medicine community. Patients with binge-eating disorder often are affected by obesity and its co-morbidities, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, and some forms of cancer,” said Dr. Wendy Scinta, medical director of Medical Weight Loss of New York and vice president of OMA.

Vyvanse is the first prescription medication approved by the FDA to treat binge-eating disorders, but it joins a number of anti-obesity medications already on the market. Qsymia, Belviq, Contrave, and Saxenda all received FDA approval and can help patients reduce hunger, decrease temptations to eat, and increase feelings of fullness.

“It’s important that we continue to develop options for obesity treatment. Each patient has a unique story and requires care personalized to meet his or her needs,” Scinta said.

The FDA’s decision to approve Vyvanse continues a trend toward recognizing and treating obesity as a chronic disease, as it was declared by the American Medical Association in 2013.