Bulimia Nervosa Treatments

(Also Known As: Bulimia Treatments, Bulimic Treatments, Eating Disorder Treatments, Binge-Purge Disorder Treatments)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What Kinds of Bulimia Nervosa Treatments are Available?

One can conquer bulimia but it can also be difficult to manage. Bulimia is a chronic condition that requires long-term care and it comprises several treatments like medications, psychotherapy, hospitalization or a combination of these forms of treatment to be effective.


Antidepressants cannot directly cure bulimia but it can help alleviate some of its symptoms. Fluoxetine (Prozac) is the only antidepressant approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat bulimia. However, recent studies show that the use of Prozac and other antidepressants may cause suicidal thoughts in children and teens with a bulimia disorder. Hence it is advisable to closely observe and monitor those taking this medication. 3 Other SSRIs include Sertraline (Zoloft), Paroxetine (Paxil), and Fluvoxamine (Luvox).


Also known as talk therapy or counseling, psychotherapy is one way of treating bulimia. It is helpful in expressing openly the person’s concerns, ideas and point of views regarding their condition. There is some research that indicates cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, can assist a person with bulimia to recognize the pessimistic and unhelpful thoughts and behaviors and substitute them with positive insights. CBT is also an effective treatment to change the behavior of a bulimic person in terms of their binging, purging, and attitudes toward eating. 4

Nutritional Therapy

Nutrition therapy is incorporated with bulimia treatment because of concerns of poor nutrition among bulimics. A dietician is a professional who can help bulimics keep track of their nutritional needs while providing an individualized diet plan to attain the ideal weight and nutrition needed by a bulimic.


Hospitalization may be required only when the patient sustained severe complications due to their poor diet and eating habits. They will be provided with intensive treatment that typically lasts for several weeks or months.


Other treatment options for bulimia nervosa include the use of natural and dietary supplements, herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture, and massage therapy. A study done among bulimic women showed significant remission of their disorder with massage therapy. They become less anxious and depressed and score better on the Eating Disorder Inventory. 5

Could You Have Bulimia Nervosa?

Bulimia Nervosa Topics

Related Conditions

Anorexia Nervosa – Starvation, Over-Exercise, Laxatives, Diuretics, Warped Body Image
Anxiety Disorder NOS – Pathological Fears, Irrational Anxiousness, Stress, Phobias
Binge Eating Disorder – Eating Unusual Amount of Food, Depression, Anxiety, Guilty
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – Anxiety, Obsessive, Compulsive Behavior Hidden to Others, Anxiety, Paranoid
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Nightmares, Insomnia, Sexual Abuse, Irritation, Social Impairment, Problems with Memory and Concentration, Intrusive Memories, Hyper-Vigilance