Thursday, January 25, 2018

Nasal spray of naloxone save you from gambling

A nasal spray might be helpful to let you resist the temptation of gambling.

A Finland research group launched a clinical trial to investigate the effect of a nasal spray containing naloxone. Naloxone is generally used as a counter against opiates overdose. As it inhibits dopamine production in the brain, it is also admitted as a treatment for gambling disorder.

The Guardian: Nasal spray aimed at tackling gambling addiction to be trialled in Finland

The effect of the medicine nasally absorbed emerges much quicker than oral medication. The researchers expect this spray is available as a rescue when the patient is attacked by a craving for gambling.

The researchers' hypothesis seems theoretically right. However, I am doubtful this project will be successful as they expected. The impulse of gambling may be so strong that the patients cannot wait for the effect of naloxone spray. Also, the effect of naloxone for eliminating the gambling motivation may be limited. In this kind of study, placebo effect will strongly emerge. Participants may be satisfied to absorb the placebo via nasal airway. It will lead to a decreased effect size of naloxone.

Gambling disorder is a complicated illness composed of biological factors and a vicious circle of the behavioral chain. It is good if a spray will cease the illness. But I think it is not feasible.

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