Drug Discov Ther. 2009;3(4):190-192.

Pathological gambling associated with cabergoline in a case of recurrent depression.

Miura J, Kikuchi A, Fujii A, Tateishi T, Kaneko S


Pathological gambling has been described frequently in patients with Parkinson disease or other movement disorders who were treated with dopamine agonists. Here, we report a patient with recurrent depression who developed pathological gambling after administration of the dopamine agonist cabergoline. A 36-year-old male Japanese patient presented with his third episode of depression. His depressive symptoms responded minimally to fluvoxamine. Cabergoline was then added to augment the antidepressant's efficacy. Although this regimen resulted in dramatic improvement, he started to spend considerable money and time every day in pachinko parlors and go to the horse racing track every weekend. He spent more than twenty thousand US dollars in total. He tried to stop gambling many times but failed to control his urge. His gambling behavior did not stop even though he was experiencing a marital crisis. He had not displayed any manic symptoms during this entire period. This complication fulfilled the criteria for pathological gambling according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of MentalDisorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision edition. The patient's perplexing behavior did not end until cabergoline was discontinued. Thus far, pathological gambling associated with cabergoline has rarely been reported while gambling associated with pramipexole and ropinirole, dopamine agonists, has frequently been documented. In addition, this is the first case of depression in which the patient developed pathological gambling during treatment with a dopamine agonist. In conclusion, clinicians should be aware of the potential for pathological gambling when prescribing cabergoline to patients with depression.

KEYWORDS: Pathological gambling, cabergoline, dopamine agonist, depression

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