Original Paper

Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 295-297

First online:

Pathological Gambling Induced by Dopamine Antagonists: A Case Report

  • Philipp GrötschAffiliated withPsychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel
  • , Claudia LangeAffiliated withPsychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel Email author 
  • , Gerhard A. WiesbeckAffiliated withPsychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel
  • , Undine LangAffiliated withPsychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel

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Pathological gambling is defined as inappropriate, persistent, and maladaptive gambling behaviour. It is a non-pharmacological addiction classified as an impulse control disorder. However, pathological gambling has been associated with dopamine agonist use. Here we report of a 28-year-old man with a first major depressive episode and a post-traumatic stress disorder who has been treated with a combination of the serotonine/noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor duloxetine and the tricyclic antidepressant maprotiline. The administration of antipsychotic flupentixole (up to 7 mg) turned this slight online poker gambler into an excessive gambler. Only after the discontinuation of the antidopaminergic agents and the switch to bupropion did this gambling behaviour stop which suggests a causal relationship between dopamine antagonists and pathological gambling.


Antipsychotic agents Gambling behaviour Dopamine antagonists