Treatment of Bulimia Nervosa

Some researchers have hypothesized a relationship to mood disorders and clinical trials have been conducted with tricyclic antidepressants, MAO inhibitors, mianserin, fluoxetine, lithium carbonate, nomifensine, trazodone, and bupropion.

Research groups who have seen a relationship to seizure disorders have attempted treatment with phenytoin, carbamazepine, and valproic acid. Opiate antagonists naloxone and naltrexone, which block cravings for gambling, have also been used.

There has also been some research characterizing bulimia nervosa as an addiction disorder, and limited clinical use of topiramate, which blocks cravings for opiates, cocaine, alcohol and food. Researchers have also report positive outcomes when bulimics are treated in an addiction-disorders inpatient unit,

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is also under investigation as a possible cause.

There are several empirically-supported psychosocial treatments for bulimia nervosa. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which involves teaching clients to challenge automatic thoughts and engage in behavioral experiments (e.g., in session eating of "forbidden foods") has demonstrated efficacy both with and without concurrent antidepressant medication. Researchers have also reported some positive outcomes for interpersonal psychotherapy and dialectical behavior therapy.

Some researchers have also claimed positive outcomes in hypnotherapy treatment.