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UK Health Department Alerts on Aripiprazole’s Link to Problem Gambling



The UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has raised an alarm for healthcare professionals regarding the prescription-only drug aripiprazole, warning of its potential to provoke compulsive behaviors, including problem gambling. Aripiprazole, marketed under brand names like Abilify and Aristada, is commonly prescribed for schizophrenia and certain bipolar disorder cases.

Critical Health Alert: Aripiprazole linked to problem gambling!

UK’s DHSC issues a cautionary note to healthcare professionals.

In the past 14 years, the DHSC has registered 69 reports of gambling disorders associated with aripiprazole, 32 of which emerged this year alone. This startling statistic has prompted a reminder to medical professionals about the Medicine and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA)’s previous warnings regarding the drug’s side effects. These compulsive urges range from excessive eating and spending to heightened sexual activity and addictive gambling behaviors.

The DHSC emphasizes the need for vigilance and reporting of suspected cases by NHS gambling clinics, which could explain the recent spike in reported incidents. Interestingly, these compulsive gambling behaviors have been noted in patients both with and without a prior history of problem gambling.


Healthcare professionals are urged to be aware of these risks and to communicate them clearly to patients, both at the time of prescribing and during follow-up reviews. Patients are advised to continue their prescribed medication but to consult their doctors immediately if they have any concerns or a personal history of compulsive behaviors.

MHRA chief safety officer Alison Cave stressed that while the number of reported cases is relatively small compared to the drug’s prescription frequency, the impact on patients could be significant. “Aripiprazole remains an effective and safe drug for many, but patients should be fully informed of potential side effects,” Cave stated.

Henrietta Bowden-Jones, director of the National Problem Gambling Clinic, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the importance of clinicians informing patients about these risks. “A significant number of gambling disorder cases at our clinic were attributed to patients being unaware of these risks, as their mental health teams had not alerted them,” said Bowden-Jones.

The DHSC’s warning about aripiprazole underscores the importance of understanding medication side effects and the need for healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive information to their patients. This initiative aims to mitigate the risks of problem gambling and other compulsive behaviors linked to the drug, ensuring safer treatment outcomes for those dealing with mental health disorders.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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