Pathological gambling induced by dopamine antagonists: A case report

Abstract

Pathological gambling is defined as inappropriate, persistent, and maladaptive gambling behaviour. It is a non-pharmacological addiction classified as an impulse control disorder. However, pathological gambling has been associated with dopamine agonist use. Here we report of a 28-year-old man with a first major depressive episode and a post-traumatic stress disorder who has been treated with a combination of the serotonine/noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor duloxetine and the tricyclic antidepressant maprotiline. The administration of antipsychotic flupentixole (up to 7 mg) turned this slight online poker gambler into an excessive gambler. Only after the discontinuation of the antidopaminergic agents and the switch to bupropion did this gambling behaviour stop which suggests a causal relationship between dopamine antagonists and pathological gambling.

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