NYMC Faculty Publications


Lisdexamfetamine: Chemistry, Pharmacodynamics, Pharmacokinetics, and Clinical Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability in the Treatment of Binge Eating Disorder

First Page


Last Page


Document Type


Publication Date

February 2018


Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


INTRODUCTION: The indications for lisdexamfetamine (LDX), a central nervous system stimulant, were recently expanded to include treatment of moderate to severe binge eating disorder (BED). Areas covered: This review aims to describe the chemistry and pharmacology of LDX, as well as the clinical trials investigating the efficacy and safety of this medication for the management of BED. Expert opinion: LDX is the first medication with United States Food and Drug Administration approval for the treatment of BED. It is an inactive prodrug of d-amphetamine that extends the half-life of d-amphetamine to allow for once daily dosing. D-amphetamine acts primarily to increase the concentrations of synaptic dopamine and norepinephrine. Metabolism of LDX to d-amphetamine occurs when peptidases in red blood cells cleave the covalent bond between d-amphetamine and l-lysine. D-amphetamine is then further metabolized by CYP2D6. Excretion is primarily through renal mechanisms. In clinical trials, LDX demonstrated statistical and clinical superiority over placebo in reducing binge eating days per week at doses of 50 and 70 mg daily. Commonly reported side effects of LDX include dry mouth, insomnia, weight loss, and headache, and its use should be avoided in patients with known structural cardiac abnormalities, cardiomyopathy, serious heart arrhythmia or coronary artery disease. As with all CNS stimulants, risk of abuse needs to be assessed prior to prescribing.