PATIENTS GIVEN ARIPIPRAZOLE “SHOULD BE TOLD OF GAMBLING ADDICTION RISKS”

An expert at the National Problem Gambling Clinic is calling for increased monitoring of the side effects of drugs used to treat depression, psychosis and schizophrenia.

The expert warned that patients who are prescribed conventional neuroleptics used to treat depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis and schizophrenia should be warned that they may develop a gambling addiction.

The National Problem Gambling Clinic notes a growing number of patients who have developed a gambling addiction after starting aripiprazole. Some patients have lost huge sums of money as a result, and their relationships have fallen apart.

Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones, the lead psychiatrist in charge of the clinic, said awareness needs to be raised because many general practitioners do not warn patients prescribing the drug and psychiatric teams cannot monitor whether people develop addictions.

  • The National Problem Gambling Clinic’s audit of its patients for 2022 found that nearly 9% were taking the drug, or 30 out of 359. Bowden-Jones said they typically were not aware of the connection between aripiprazole and problem gambling.

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