Short-term single-blind fluvoxamine treatment of pathological gambling

Eric Hollander, Concetta M. DeCaria, Eduardo Mari, Cheryl M. Wong, Serge Mosovich, Robert Grossman, Tomer Begaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Objective: The authors' goal was to assess the efficacy and tolerability of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluvoxamine in the treatment of pathological gambling. Method: Sixteen patients with pathological gambling entered an 8-week placebo lead-in phase, and 10 of these patients completed an 8-week single-blind fluvoxamine trial. Results: Seven of the 10 patients who completed the fluvoxamine trial were judged treatment responders at the end of the study: 1) they had greater than 25% decreases in their gambling behavior scores on the pathological gambling modification of the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale, and 2) their clinician-rated Clinical Global Impression scores for gambling severity were very much improved or much improved. Fluvoxamine treatment resulted in gambling abstinence in seven of the 10 patients. Conclusions: Findings from this preliminary study suggest that fluvoxamine may be effective in reducing the urge to gamble. Randomized placebo-controlled and maintenance trials are required to confirm these findings and to determine whether improvement persists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1781-1783
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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