OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of lithium augmentation of topiramate on mood symptoms, binge eating behavior, and body weight in obese bipolar patients with binge eating disorder (BED) seeking weight management. METHOD: We conducted a naturalistic study of 12 consecutive outpatients with bipolar disorders, BED, and obesity who received lithium augmentation for mood instability during the course of topiramate-based pharmacotherapy for obesity and BED. Lithium was added to topiramate (mean dose 514 mg i.d.) and titrated to a mean dose of 1009 mg i.d. (mean plasma concentration 0.7 mmol/L). Treatment response was assessed by comparing changes in clinical severity scales for mood and eating disorders, weekly binge eating frequency, and weight for the 2 months before and the first 2 months during lithium treatment. RESULTS: A statistically significant improvement in global severity of mood symptoms was observed after as compared to before lithium augmentation. Statistically insignificant reductions in weight and in binge frequency and severity were also observed after lithium addition. CONCLUSION: Optimal weight loss treatment in obese patients with comorbid bipolar and BEDs may require stabilization of mood. The combination of lithium and topiramate may have a role in the management of this difficult-to-treat population.
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