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Two Cases of De Novo Pathological Gambling Associated With Aripiprazole

Chen, Hui-Yi, MD*; Ma, Chia-Hao, MD; Liu, Chen-Chung, MD, PhD*‡

doi: 10.1097/WNF.0000000000000342
Case Reports

Objectives Pathological gambling can be potentiated by treatment with dopamine agonists. Aripiprazole, bearing a partial agonist activity at dopamine D2 and D3 receptors, has also been linked to such a behavioral aberration, usually on subjects predisposed with tendency of impulsive or addictive behaviors.

Methods Review of patient's medical records and literature review.

Results Two young patients' pathological gambling emerged simply due to exposure to aripiprazole, neither related to manic or psychotic symptoms nor with history of addictive or impulsive behaviors. Their pathological gambling disappeared soon after switching aripiprazole to other antipsychotics. One patient has tested such a relationship by reexposure to aripiprazole while his compulsion to gamble recurred.

Conclusions In addition to previously recognized risk factors, pathological gambling might occur in young patients whose history did not reveal an addictive tendency while they were sensitive to the pharmacological effect, as well as adverse effects, of psychotropic agents.

*Department of Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei;

Department of Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital, Yunlin Branch, Yunlin; and

Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Chen-Chung Liu, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital No. 7 Chung Shan S. Road, Taipei 10002, Taiwan; E-mail:

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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