The impulse control disorder drug nalmefene, which has previously been shown to be effective for alcohol dependence, may also be effective for pathological gambling, according to a study.
'Pathological gambling is a disabling disorder experienced by approximately 1 per cent to 2 per cent of adults and for which there are few empirically validated treatments,' Dr Jon E. Grant, of the University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, and colleagues explain in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
They assessed the value of nalmefene, a long-acting opioid antagonist, in 207 pathological gamblers randomised to nalmefene at 25 mg, 50 mg or 100 mg per day or inactive placebo. Twenty-four of the 51 patients in the placebo group and 49 of the 156 subject patients assigned to nalmefene completed the 16-week trial.
Fifty-nine per cent of the subjects in the 25-mg group were rated as 'much improved' or 'very much improved' at the last evaluation, compare