Comorbidity issues in the pharmacological treatment of pathological gambling: A critical review

Bernardo Dell'Osso, Andrea Allen, Eric Hollander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pathological Gambling (PG) is an impulse control disorder often comorbid with other psychopathology, particularly bipolar spectrum disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and substance abuse. This paper reviews the published literature on the pharmacological management of PG, highlighting how clinical and subclinical comorbid psychopathology influences the choice of pharmacological treatment. Methods: Using Medline, the authors reviewed relevant articles published on this topic from 1995 to 2005, focusing on the best-designed studies for inclusion. Results: Much of the literature on PG-treatment presupposes different theories regarding this disorder. Data suggest the utility of differentiating the pharmacotherapy of pathological gamblers in light of their comorbid profile, specifically assessing for comorbid bipolar, ADHD, OCD, and substance abuse disorders. Conclusion: Decisions about pharmacological treatment of PG should take into account current and previous comorbid disorders which influence treatment selection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
JournalClinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health
Publication statusPublished - Oct 10 2005


  • Comorbidity
  • Compulsive-impulsive spectrum
  • Impulse control disorders
  • Pathological gambling
  • Subthreshold symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Epidemiology

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