View Full Version : Are antipsychotics used to treat gambling addiction
10-12-2005, 10:23 AM
If parkinson's drugs like levadopa can cause gambling addiction could dopamine inhibitors like antipsychotics be used to treat gambling addiction?
10-12-2005, 11:40 AM
If the question is whether they could, I don't know. If the question is whether they are, the answer is no, not at the present. IANA doctor, but I recently wrote a lengthy newspaper artcle on gambling addiction, and I came across some of the studies you're referring to. The Martindale Drug Reference has this to say about levodopa.
A 12-month study of 1281 patients in the USA treated with dopamine agonists for Parkinson's disease found that 9 were suffering from excessive gambling. All patients had received levodopa, 8 pramipexole, and the remaining patient pergolide. The rate of pathological gambling was 1.5% in the 529 patients taking pramipexole. The authors considered that this was not unexpected given the general availability of casinos in the local area and an incidence in the general US population of 0.3 to 1.3%. Similar behaviour described as being markedly increased in "on" periods has been reported in other patients treated with levodopa. Pathological gambling has also been associated with misuse of dopaminergics.
10-13-2005, 04:31 AM
the problem with your approach (and I beleive there have been several studies in the general area) is that if gambling is a pharmocologial problem, it may be multivariate invloving many pathways. Associations have been reported between pathological gamblers and allele variants of polymorphisms at dopamine receptor genes, the serotonin transporter gene, and the monoamine-oxidase A gene (from http://lansbury.bwh.harvard.edu/dopamine_reviews_2003.htm ). Hitting just the dopamine pathways will probably have all sorts of other nastier side effects. SSRIs have been used for gambling addictions as well as opiate blockers - these pathways can be hit with fewer side effects though I dont know how effective they are.
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