Gambling and increased sexual desire with dopaminergic medications in restless legs syndrome

Erika M Driver-Dunckley, Brie N. Noble, Joseph G. Hentz, Virgilio G H Evidente, John Nathaniel Caviness, James Parish, Lois Elaine Krahn, Charles Howard Adler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

112 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Do patients with restless legs syndrome (RLS) report gambling or other abnormal behaviors as previously reported in Parkinson disease. METHODS: This survey study was sent to 261 idiopathic RLS patients, and it included the Gambling Symptoms Assessment Scale, Altman Self-Rating Mania Scale, and questions pertaining to sexual activity and novelty-seeking behaviors. RESULTS: Ninety-nine patients responded to the survey, and 77 were actively taking 1 or more dopaminergic medications. Of the 70 respondents who answered the gambling questions, 5 (7%) noted a change in gambling, with 4 (6%; 95% confidence interval, 2%-14%) stating that increased urges and time spent gambling occurred specifically after the use of dopaminergic medications (2 on pramipexole, 1 on ropinirole, and 1 on levodopa and pramipexole). Increased sexual desire was reported by 4 (5%) of the 77 respondents, 3 (4%; 95% confidence interval, 1%-11%) reported that this occurred specifically after the use of dopaminergic medications (1 on pramipexole, 1 on ropinirole, and 1 on levodopa). One patient reported both an increase in gambling and sexual habits. CONCLUSIONS: This exploratory survey study revealed the development of gambling and/or increased sexuality in patients with RLS. These data raise the possibility that, as in Parkinson disease, RLS patients should be cautioned about potential behaviors that may occur with the use of dopaminergic medications. Further prospective studies are needed to assess the relationship between these medications and compulsive behaviors associated with the treatment of RLS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-255
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Neuropharmacology
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2007

Fingerprint

Restless Legs Syndrome
Gambling
Levodopa
Parkinson Disease
Compulsive Behavior
Confidence Intervals
Exploratory Behavior
Symptom Assessment
Sexuality
Bipolar Disorder
Sexual Behavior
Habits
Surveys and Questionnaires
Prospective Studies

Keywords

  • Dopaminergic drugs
  • Gambling
  • RLS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Cite this

Gambling and increased sexual desire with dopaminergic medications in restless legs syndrome. / Driver-Dunckley, Erika M; Noble, Brie N.; Hentz, Joseph G.; Evidente, Virgilio G H; Caviness, John Nathaniel; Parish, James; Krahn, Lois Elaine; Adler, Charles Howard.

In: Clinical Neuropharmacology, Vol. 30, No. 5, 09.2007, p. 249-255.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Caviness, John Nathaniel

AU - Parish, James

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AB - OBJECTIVES: Do patients with restless legs syndrome (RLS) report gambling or other abnormal behaviors as previously reported in Parkinson disease. METHODS: This survey study was sent to 261 idiopathic RLS patients, and it included the Gambling Symptoms Assessment Scale, Altman Self-Rating Mania Scale, and questions pertaining to sexual activity and novelty-seeking behaviors. RESULTS: Ninety-nine patients responded to the survey, and 77 were actively taking 1 or more dopaminergic medications. Of the 70 respondents who answered the gambling questions, 5 (7%) noted a change in gambling, with 4 (6%; 95% confidence interval, 2%-14%) stating that increased urges and time spent gambling occurred specifically after the use of dopaminergic medications (2 on pramipexole, 1 on ropinirole, and 1 on levodopa and pramipexole). Increased sexual desire was reported by 4 (5%) of the 77 respondents, 3 (4%; 95% confidence interval, 1%-11%) reported that this occurred specifically after the use of dopaminergic medications (1 on pramipexole, 1 on ropinirole, and 1 on levodopa). One patient reported both an increase in gambling and sexual habits. CONCLUSIONS: This exploratory survey study revealed the development of gambling and/or increased sexuality in patients with RLS. These data raise the possibility that, as in Parkinson disease, RLS patients should be cautioned about potential behaviors that may occur with the use of dopaminergic medications. Further prospective studies are needed to assess the relationship between these medications and compulsive behaviors associated with the treatment of RLS.

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