Baclofen Treatment of Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder: An Internet Survey

Un article sur l’intérêt potentiel du baclofène sur l’hyperphagie et la boulimie nerveuse

Objective: Bulimia Nervosa (BN) and Binge Eating Disorder (BED) are conditions that are difficult to treat and for which there are very few approved treatments. Clinical studies have shown baclofen effectiveness in BED, but this
must be confirmed.

Methods: The present study is an Internet survey targeting the use of baclofen for the treatment of BN and BED. Survey questions were released on the “Baclofène” Internet site. Questions relate to baclofen effectiveness, doses, treatment increase, adverse effects, and impact on quality of life.

Results: One hundred and eight responders met diagnostic criteria for BED and BN (61 BN, 47 BED). Forty-one percent of BN and 40% of BED participants reported total recovery, while 29% of BN and 34% of BED reported some improvement. BN participants were significantly younger than BED participants. Individual effective doses were highly variable (10-590 mg/d) and the average maximal dose was 174mg/d. There were no correlations between the maximal baclofen dose and the intensity of adverse effects, quality of life, or recovery.

Discussion: The high percentages of success in this study probably overestimate the reality of the effectiveness of baclofen in BN and BED because patients who were improved by baclofen were likely more prone to respond
to the survey than those for whom the treatment had failed. Nevertheless, the results confirm the effectiveness of individually adjusted doses of baclofen in the treatment of many patients with BED and suggest its potential interest for BN. Controlled studies using individually adjusted doses of baclofen are needed.

Keywords: Eating disorder; Individual titration; Adverse effects; GABA-B; Quality of life