Objective: The authors' goal was to assess the efficacy and tolerability of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluvoxamine in the treatment of pathological gambling. Method: Sixteen patients with pathological gambling entered an 8-week placebo lead-in phase, and 10 of these patients completed an 8-week single-blind fluvoxamine trial. Results: Seven of the 10 patients who completed the fluvoxamine trial were judged treatment responders at the end of the study: 1) they had greater than 25% decreases in their gambling behavior scores on the pathological gambling modification of the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale, and 2) their clinician-rated Clinical Global Impression scores for gambling severity were very much improved or much improved. Fluvoxamine treatment resulted in gambling abstinence in seven of the 10 patients. Conclusions: Findings from this preliminary study suggest that fluvoxamine may be effective in reducing the urge to gamble. Randomized placebo-controlled and maintenance trials are required to confirm these findings and to determine whether improvement persists.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health