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Levodopa: Gambling

Question for Department of Health

UIN 6352, tabled on 9 July 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent discussions he has had with clinical and medical bodies on potential links between use of levodopa and gambling problems.

Answered on

16 July 2015

There have not been any recent discussions with clinical and medical bodies regarding the potential link between the use of levodopa and gambling problems. Gambling problems are recognised to be a risk associated with levodopa and dopamine agonists used to treat Parkinson’s disease.

There have been warnings about impulse disorders, including pathological gambling, in the product information for all medicines containing levodopa since 2006 and these warnings are also reflected in the British National Formulary provided to all prescribers within the National Health Service.

The risk of abnormal behaviours including pathological gambling is also highlighted in the 2006 NICE Clinical Guideline 35, Parkinson’s Disease: Diagnosis and management in primary and secondary care.