How do medications treat eating disorders?

Depression, anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder can lead to an eating disorder. Medications to treat these mental health conditions can help treat the condition. Some drugs used are antidepressants or anti-anxiety medicines (called anxiolytics). Your doctor may prescribe these if the eating disorder is severe and has caused changes in your body's function or mineral balance.

Medications have not been shown to have an effect in treating eating disorders. If your doctor prescribes medication, it is probably for depression or anxiety, which often accompany eating disorders. Psychotherapy, weight restoration, and hospitalization have been shown to be much more effective at treating eating disorders than have medications.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.