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

Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH

Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Brian L. Odlaug, BA

Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Marc Mooney, PhD

Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Robert O’Brien, BA

Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Suck Won Kim, MD

Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

BACKGROUND: 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.

METHODS: 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).

RESULTS: 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.

CONCLUSIONS: 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.

KEYWORDS: buying, cognition, impulse control, shopping

ANNALS OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY 2012;24(2):119-126

CORRESPONDENCE: Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota School of Medicine, 2450 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55454 USA E-MAIL: grant045@umn.edu
Annals of Clinical Psychiatry ©2012 Quadrant HealthCom Inc.

 
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