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Acamprosate in the Treatment of Pathological Gambling

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00571103
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : December 11, 2007
Results First Posted : May 25, 2017
Last Update Posted : May 25, 2017
University of Nebraska
Forest Laboratories
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Donald Black, University of Iowa

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to see whether acamprosate (Campral) will curb the desire to gamble in people with pathological gambling disorder.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Pathological Gambling Drug: acamprosate Phase 4

Detailed Description:
Because the opiate antagonists appear to be effective in the treatment of pathological gambling (PG), it is reasonable to ask whether acamprosate (calcium acetylhomotaurine; Campral), also FDA approved for the treatment of alcoholism, can be used effectively to treat PG. Acamprosate is not an opioid antagonist; rather, it is assumed that its therapeutic effects are due to actions on GABA receptors. Acamprosate is structurally related to 1-glutamic, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter. It has been proposed that acamprosate decreases the effects of the naturally-occuring excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate in the body. Because chronic alcohol consumption disrupts this system, and the changes last many months after alcohol ingestion is stopped, it is possible that acamprosate restores the glutamate system towards normal. Regardless, acamprosate decreases the pleasant "high" associated with alcohol consumption, and thus decreases the frequency of relapse during abstinence. We hypothesize that acamprosate will have similar actions in persons with PG.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 26 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Open Label, Flexible Dose 12-Week Clinical Trial of the Safety and Efficacy of Acamprosate in the Treatment of Pathological Gambling
Study Start Date : October 2007
Actual Primary Completion Date : July 2009
Actual Study Completion Date : July 2009

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: 1 Open Label
Open Label. At visit 2, all participants were started on Acamprosate, 1,998 mg divided into 3 equal doses.
Drug: acamprosate
Two 333mg tablets taken three times daily.
Other Name: Campral

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. The Primary Efficacy Measure Was the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale Modified for PG (YBOCS-PG). [ Time Frame: 8 weeks minus baseline ]
    The YBOCS-PG (Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale modified for Pathological Gambling) is used to assess the range and severity of PG symptoms. The scale is a modification of the YBOCS originally developed by Goodman et al. (1989) for use in rating severity and change in subjects with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This adaptation is a 10-item clinician-rated questionnaire, which rates (on a 5-point scale from 0 to 4) time spent, distress, interference, resistance, and control in relation to PG urges and behaviors. The scale ranges from 0 to 40 with a higher score representing increased severity in PG.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. The Secondary Efficacy Evaluations Will Include the G-SAS (Gambling Symptom Assessment Scale), Clinical Global Impression - Improvement Scale (CGI-I) , and the CGI-S Clinical Global Impression - Severity Scale. [ Time Frame: 8 weeks minus baseline ]
    The G-SAS is a 12 item self-report instrument that reflects the subjects urges to gamble and the subjects gambling behavior. Each item is scored on a 5-point scale from 0 (no symptoms) to 4 (extreme symptoms) with a total score range from 0 to 48. The CGI-I is a 7 point scale requiring the clinician to assess how much the patient's illness has improved or worsened relative to a baseline state as: 1, very much improved; 2, much improved; 3, minimally improved; 4, no change; 5, minimally worse; 6, much worse; or 7, very much worse. The CGI-S is a 7-point scale that requires the clinician to rate the severity of the patient's illness at the time of assessment. A patient is assessed on severity of mental illness at the time of rating 1, normal, not at all ill; 2, borderline mentally ill; 3, mildly ill; 4, moderately ill; 5, markedly ill; 6, severely ill; and 7, among the most extremely ill patients.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients will meet DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 4th Edition) criteria for Pathological Gambling Disorder
  • Patients will achieve a SOGS (South Oaks Gambling Screen) score greater than or equal to 5
  • Patients will be 18 years old or older
  • Patients will speak standard English
  • Patients will be able to give written Informed Consent
  • Patients will be able to understand and cooperate with study procedures

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients having a current (past 3 months) substance use disorder (except dependence)
  • Patients having a Hamilton Depression Rating score of greater than or equal to 18 or a score on #1 (depressed mood) greater than 1.
  • Patients having a clinically significant medical illness
  • Patients at risk for aggressive or suicidal behavior
  • Patients who have received the following interventions within the proscribed time prior to study entry: 1) a monoamine oxidase inhibitor within the previous 21 days; 2) long-acting phenothiazines within the previous 3 months; 3) other psychotropic drugs within the previous 14 days; 4) flu- oxetine within the previous 4 weeks.
  • Patients having severe antisocial or borderline personality disorder
  • Patients with a past or current diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, psychotic disorder, bipolar disorder, or delirium, dementia, or other clinically significant cognitive disorder.
  • Patients initiating individual, group, or couple psychotherapy during the three moths prior to study entry (excluding Gambler's Anonymous)
  • Patients having prior exposure to acamprosate

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00571103

Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Iowa
University of Nebraska
Forest Laboratories
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Principal Investigator: Donald W Black, MD The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Principal Investigator: Dennis P McNeilly, PsyD University of Nebraska
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Responsible Party: Donald Black, Principal Investigator, University of Iowa Identifier: NCT00571103    
Other Study ID Numbers: 200608747
First Posted: December 11, 2007    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: May 25, 2017
Last Update Posted: May 25, 2017
Last Verified: April 2017
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No
Plan Description: We do not plan to share individual participant data.
Keywords provided by Donald Black, University of Iowa:
acamprosate, impulse-control disorders
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders
Mental Disorders
Alcohol Deterrents