This drug against depression that turns patients into pathological gamblers…
The news could cause a scandal in the days to come. A drug used to treat bipolar disorder, psychosis, schizophrenia or depression has been reported as a potential catalyst for gambling addiction. The anti-psychotic drug in question, aripiprazole, has been reported by the National Problem Gambling Clinic in London, UK. According to the service that administered the treatment, an increase in gambling addiction was noted after its patients began taking the drug.
Anti-psychotic drug turns patients into gambling addicts
Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones, head psychiatrist at the National Problem Gambling Clinic in London and honorary professor at University College London and honorary visiting senior research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge, says that aripiprazole should no longer be prescribed for mental health conditions. Aripiprazole is an “atypical” neuroleptic that can lead to addiction.
” The problem is much more serious than we think. The drug is directly responsible for addictive behaviors and tendencies, it is not just a side effect of aripiprazole “Bowden-Jones says she is concerned that the molecule in the treatment has the potential to make patients’ lives even worse.
” Here in the UK we keep hearing that mental health teams are not aware. More needs to be done to prevent people being put on aripiprazole without being warned and monitored “The doctor and psychiatrist continues.
A clear link between the drug and gambling addiction
According to clinic data, about 9 percent of people who were given an anti-psychotic drug took aripiprazole, or 30 of the 359 patients being followed by Henrietta Bowden-Jones and her teams.
” Although the latter has been established fairly recently, there is a clear link between the drug and gambling addiction “She calls for immediate action to address the problem in collaboration with general practitioners and other medical specialists, including those in a position to prescribe the said neuroleptic.
” Patients are often reluctant to admit that they have a problem with gambling. It is the duty of physicians to investigate. They should actively seek to learn more about their patients, because if they have a gambling pathology or addiction, it is not the only reason.‘aripiprazole that will cure them, on the contrary “Henrietta Bowden-Jones concludes that, in general, people with psychiatric illnesses are much more likely to become addicted to gambling than others.