Common Medications Prescribed To Anorexia Patients
Anorexia is a complex illness with both mental and physical elements. Counseling and therapy are very important for the management of the disease — especially the mental components of the disease. However, doctors may also prescribe one or more of the following medications for the treatment of anorexia and its symptoms.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are commonly referred to as SSRIs, are a class of antidepressants that are often prescribed to patients with anorexia. Depression is at the heart of many eating disorder cases, and medically managing that depression with an SSRI can help improve the patient's mental health to the point that they are better able to address their eating disorder. SSRIs have a long track record of success. They can cause minor side effects like indigestion, blurred vision, and dry mouth, but if a patient experiences these side effects, switching to a lower dose or taking a different SSRI may help.
Many female patients with anorexia — especially those who have been dealing with this eating disorder for several years or more — deal with weak bones and osteoporosis. This makes patients very prone to broken bones. The weak bones of anorexia patients are usually related to their low estrogen levels since low levels of body fat lead to lower levels of estrogen, and low levels of estrogen encourage the body to leech calcium from the bones. Many female anorexia patients are prescribed estrogen supplements to raise their levels of circulating hormones and help protect their bones. These supplements can also help patients regain their fertility as they begin eating more and recovering from their eating disorder.
Over the past few years, as medical marijuana has been legalized in some states, doctors have begun recommending it more often for anorexia patients. Medical marijuana can benefit patients with anorexia in a few different ways. It is an appetite stimulant and can therefore make it easier for patients to start eating again. It also helps alleviate the depression and anxiety that are at the core of many anorexia cases. Patients do not need to smoke medical marijuana in order to use it. Many choose to vaporize the substance or take pills containing THC and CBD.
Although talk therapy and support groups are very important for the treatment of anorexia, many patients also benefit from taking certain medications. Every case is different, and it is up to a doctor to determine what's best for each patient. For more information about options for anorexia treatment, contact a local clinic.