Drug Causing Loss of Control Re Casino Gambling, Pornography?
Anecdotal evidence has accumulated over the last few years that patients taking a drug which treats both Parkinson's disease and restless leg syndrome have experienced side effects including compulsive casino gambling and obsession with pornography. This week, over a hundred alleged victims of the drug sued Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and Aspen Pharmacare, saying the drug manufacturewrs were negligent in warning of possible unintended results.
Drugs developed by these companies spur the brain to react as if to increased dopamine. Dopamine production has been linked by many studies to compulsive or addictive behavior, and has been found to be a key component in problem gambling sufferers.
However, a study published in the May issue of "Archives of Neurology" finds that only a small percentage of tested subjects are afflicted with the problematic behavior, raising the question why it would not stimulate impulse disorders in a larger segment of the test population.
Gambling issues were reported by 5 percent of patients in the survey, while sexual issues arose in 3.5 percent of the group.
Still, those who took the prescription say they weren't warned of such potential effects as the deisre to gamble and take unwise risks, or the need to see and experience sexual input incessantly.
“The case will take the form of a class action in the Federal Court,” says an article in the Sydney Morning Herald. "Most of the claimants developed gambling addictions but a few exhibited compulsive sexual behavior such as looking at pornography on the internet.”
One of the difficulties is determining what amount of gambling or sexual stimulation defines "normal," ands when the border to dysfunctional behavior begins.
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