Topiramate: use in binge eating disorder?

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Mauro Gentile *
Giovanni Scanelli
(*) Corresponding Author:
Mauro Gentile | g.scanelli@ospfe.it

Abstract

Introduction: Topiramate was serendipitously synthesized in 1979 during research aimed at developing a fructose-1,6-diphosphatase inhibitor that might be used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Some investigators have suggested it might be used in the treatment of binge eating disorder (BED). The aim of this review was to evaluate current knowledge and opinions on this topic.
Materials and methods: We conducted a search of five electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, Nice, Cochrane, Cinahl) using the search strategy ‘‘topiramate’’ AND ‘‘binge’’, ‘‘binge eating disorder.’’ No time limits were applied, and only reports of randomized controlled trials were included in our analysis. Results: In clinical studies, topiramate use has been associated with significant weight loss mediated by reductions in the frequency of bingeing episodes. The most common side effects of the drug are paresthesias, but nephrolithiasis, oligohydrosis, and dizziness have also been described.
Conclusions: Available data are limited, but the literature we reviewed suggests that topiramate can be useful in the medical treatment of BED, reducing both body weight and binge episodes. Side effects are not negligible. Before topiramate can be regarded as a good tool for the treatment of BED, further data must be obtained from longer, methodologically correct studies of larger populations.

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