London: A drug, which is taken for attention hyperactivity disorder in kids, is showing promise to treat binge eating as well.
Binge Eating Disorder, which affects 1.5million people, is normally treated using psychological therapy.
However, till date there has been no licensed drug for the 30 per cent who fail to respond to counselling.
Last week trials showed a type of amphetamine called Vyvanse could help treating Binge Eating Disorder.
“Patients showed a significant change in eating habits,” the Daily Express quoted Professor Susan McElroy, a psychiatrist at Cincinnati University in the US, who led the trial, as saying.
“We think it targets receptors in the brain that regulate how much a person eats.”
The trial, which involved 277 patients, took three months.
Irish drug firm Shire, the owner of Vyvanse, is now scheduling a final trial phase and it expects that the drug could be available in the next two years.
Binge eating can lead to digestive disorders, heart disease and diabetes.
Drugs such as Vyvanse were used as slimming aids in the Sixties and Seventies but proved to be addictive.
They were banned in the Nineties after some women developed heart disease, but the Vyvanse trial showed no problems.
“This drug has a good safety profile in children with ADHD, who are often on it long-term,” Dr Jeffrey Jonas, of Shire, said.