Open-label pilot study of memantine in the treatment of compulsive buying.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, School of Medicine, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA.
Annals of Clinical Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.53). 05/2012; 24(2):119-26.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although compulsive buying (CB) is relatively common, pharmacotherapy research for CB is limited. Memantine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist, appears to reduce glutamate excitability and improve impulsive behaviors, suggesting it may help individuals with CB.
Nine patients (8 females) with CB were enrolled in a 10-week open-label treatment study of memantine (dose ranging from 10 to 30 mg/d). Participants were enrolled from December 2008 until May 2010. The primary outcome measure was change from baseline to study endpoint on the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale-Shopping Version (Y-BOCS-SV).
Of the 9 participants, 8 (88.9%) completed the 10-week study. Y-BOCS-SV scores decreased from a mean of 22.0 ± 1.3 at baseline to 11.0 ± 5.3 at endpoint (P < .001). Hours spent shopping per week and money spent shopping both decreased significantly (P < .001). The mean effective dose of memantine was 23.4 ± 8.1 mg/d. Memantine treatment was associated with diminished impulsive buying and improvements on cognitive tasks of impulsivity. In addition, the medication was well-tolerated.
These findings suggest that pharmacologic manipulation of the glutamate system may target the impulsive behavior underlying CB. Placebo-controlled, double-blind studies are warranted in order to confirm these preliminary findings in a controlled design.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Compulsive shopping," a phrase often used to caricature women's spending or presumed preoccupation with material goods, has, within recent years, taken on a second meaning: that of a mental disorder, clinically referred to as "compulsive buying." Compulsive buying has not officially been defined as a "disorder," but it is being treated as such by psychiatrists and a growing segment of the general public. This emerging perception of compulsive buying as a mental disorder has only been possible because of larger cognitive and scientific shifts - one such shift being the preeminence now accorded to biological explanations for deviant behaviors. In the U.S., treating social problems as psychological problems, and psychological problems as biological problems, is, if not already the norm, quickly becoming so. The narrowing focus of critical and lay attention on individualized pathologies, particularly in the United States, has displaced broader social-structural analyses. My purpose in this paper, in attempt to offer a broader analysis, is to examine the disordering of compulsive buying, and discuss the role this disordering plays for American society.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Compulsive buying (CB) is a potentially devastating problem involving repetitive urges to shop and uncontrolled spending behaviors. Prevalence of CB in the general population has been estimated at 5.8%. This epidemiological study aims to better understand the prevalence and characteristics of college students who meet criteria for CB. During the spring of 2011, an online survey examining CB (using a clinically validated screening instrument, the Minnesota Impulse Disorders Interview), stress and mood states, psychiatric comorbidity, and psychosocial functioning was emailed to 2108 University students. Overall survey response rate was 35.1% (n=2108). Our data indicated that 3.6% (n=67) of college students surveyed met criteria for CB with significantly more women affected (4.4%, n=48) than men (2.5%, n=19). Relative to students not meeting criteria for CB, college students who met criteria for CB endorsed significantly greater psychiatric comorbidity, lower grade point averages, increased stress, and poorer physical health. Presence of CB is likely associated with a variety of problems in college students. These data may warrant increased screening of CB in college students to establish early interventions.
    09/2013; 210(3). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2013.08.048
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although compulsive buying (CB) seems to be not only prevalent but even increasing in prevalence, it often remains neglected or minimized in clinical settings. There is a need for a greater understanding and recognition of this problem. The aim of this article is to summarize the current knowledge regarding CB and to offer thoughts regarding classification. Review of published literature over the period 1994-2013 through Pubmed/Medline, PsychINFO, and Google Scholar using the key words 'compulsive buying', 'impulsive buying' and 'addictive buying'. CB is defined by a preoccupation with buying and shopping, by frequent buying episodes, or overpowering urges to buy that are experienced as irresistible and senseless. The maladaptive spending behavior is associated with serious psychological, social, occupational, and financial problems. Treatment-seeking patients with CB suffer from substantial psychiatric comorbidity (eg, anxiety and depressive mood disorders, compulsive hoarding, binge eating disorder). Representative surveys revealed prevalence estimates of CB between 6% and 7% and indicate that younger people are more prone to develop CB. Moreover, European data suggest an increase of CB in the adult population over the last 20 years. While there is no evidence for the efficacy of psychopharmacological treatment, group cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to be effective. The relevance of recognition of CB as mental disorder is undeniable in the face of its estimated prevalence and associated burden. As our understanding of contributing neurobiological and etiological factors is limited, further research should focus on these topics, taking into account the heterogeneity of individuals with CB. There is also a need for specific treatment options and for the development of prevention strategies. (Am J Addict 2013;XX:1-6).
    American Journal on Addictions 10/2013; DOI:10.1111/j.1521-0391.2013.12111.x · 1.74 Impact Factor