Problem Gambling Seen as Result of Restless Leg Treatment
Scientists have found mounting evidence lately that compulsive gambling may be the symptom of a physiological brain disorder involving dopamine receptors and risk-reward impulses. Unfortunately for many, drugs stimulating this brain region have been used in treatment of restless leg syndrome, allegedly causing compulsive gambling problems.
Requip, a drug manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline for relief of either Parkinson's syndrome or the sleep-depriving disease, has been a common ground among many who say they never had gambling issues until taking the drug. Some assert they did not make a connection until weaning off the drug caused gambling compulsions to subside.
Patients without any history of problem gambling have emptied life savings and even resorted to stealing from employers and family to continue gaming. Anecdotal evidence continues to accumulate that desires to gamble decline within days of quitting the drug.
Dopamine agonists, including Requip, have been involved in a growing list of cases of inexplicable problem gambling, the result of overwhelming impulses. But the GSK site does not mention the possible side effect, perhaps preferring to maintain a legal position to warning possible victims.
Lawyersandsettlements.com carries the case of Barb from Washington, who says, after being prescribed Requip for restless leg syndrome, she gambled away over $100,000 in just a few months. She said her compulsions mirrored those of many problem gamblers, manifesting themselves as eating and shopping impulses as well.
Barb says her problem was medically driven, not psychological, and ended with the end of Requip treatment. But, with the manufacturers refusing responsibility, she hopes the courts can address the issue.
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