Octavian Vasiliu, Daniel Vasile



Treatment of Gambling Disorder - A Systematic Review of Current Evidence

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gambling disorder, pathological gambling, behavioral addiction, psychotherapy, antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood-stabilizers, treatment recommendations


Gambling disorder is a difficult to treat, persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior, associated with a significant degree of impairment or distress. Several reviews of available pharmacological and/or psychotherapeutic approaches have been conducted, with very few clinical useful conclusions. We conducted a systematic review of the literature regarding the efficacy and tolerability of treatments for gambling disorder, but our option was to include only randomized, high-quality trials, with a sound methodological design. This research is based on the systematic search of medical databases (Pubmed, Medscape, Cochrane, CINAHL, EMBASE, PsychINFO) for informations regarding the efficacy and tolerability of treatment methods for gambling disorder. Keywords used and search paradigms were “psychotherapy”, “psychotropic”, “antidepressant”, “antipsychotics”, “mood-stabilizers”, individual non-proprietary names of the most widely used psychotropics, and “gambling disorder”, “pathological gambling”, “behavioural addiction”. The period of study detection was established between 2000 and 2017, due to the lack of clear definition of the gambling disorder until the beginning of this century. Based on high quality data, few recommendations could be formulated. Paroxetine, followed by naltrexone, topiramate, motivational interview and CBT appear to be the most supported treatments for gambling disorders. However, most of the analyzed treatments were associated with negative results, as well. Therefore, more trials need to be conducted with solid methodology and long duration, in order to support clear-cut treatment recommendations.

Cite this paper

Octavian Vasiliu, Daniel Vasile. (2017) Treatment of Gambling Disorder - A Systematic Review of Current Evidence. International Journal of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, 2, 22-29