Wayne Kanuch was diagnosed of Parkinson's disease in 1993 and started taking Permax, a dopamine agonist, to treat the disorder. He could even think that the drug that was supposed to treat one disease led to another and turned him into a compulsive gambler and put his libido into overdrive.
During the next couple of years, he managed to lose his marriage, job and fortunes at the racetrack. During his working hours, he used to look for dates online, and got sacked for it. He soon went into the bankruptcy and lost many friends from whom he borrowed money to feed his gambling desire.
He even tried to commit a suicide because he couldn’t explain why all these things were happening to him and was blaming himself for all the bad things.
FDA has found an evidence that there is a possibility that the drug he was taking boosted dopamine levels in the brain. Excessive dopamine levels in the brain make of us obsessive pleasure seekers and this is probably what happened to the Wayne Kanuch.
Wayne Kanuch is not the only one who experienced gambling problems from dopamine agonist drugs. There are many other people whose lives were ruined and who also tried to take away their lives due to their inability to resist gambling addiction.
The patients are asking for labels warning to be put on such drugs and will probably sue the manufacturers for not warning about the risks. Many of the patients reported that they would rather live with the disease that the gambling addiction.
However, there is still no scientific report about the connection between dopamine enhancers, known as agonists, and compulsive gambling. There have been no controlled studies looking into the possible link only reported cases. Isn’t that enough for a scientific trial to be organized?
Doctors who prescribed the drugs dismissed the connections when they were mentioned but most of the patients who stopped the drug lost the gambling urge.