Treat Compulsive Shoppers or buyers

Can a pill be the answer for shoppers who go out to buy a battery and come home, quite inexplicably, with a plasma TV?

Forest Laboratories Inc. is sponsoring a trial at California’s Stanford University designed to show that its antidepressants Celexa and Lexapro can cut down on compulsive shopping.

Both these drugs, part of a class known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, were first approved to treat depression.

But makers of SSRIs, which include Pfizer Inc., GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Eli Lilly and Co., are seeking ever wider definitions of diseases that might accommodate their products.

Many SSRIs have won regulatory approval to treat anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and, more recently, “social phobia,” or excessive shyness. Now compulsive shopping, compulsive gambling and kleptomania may be added to the list.

While compulsive gambling and kleptomania are recognized in the standard psychiatric diagnostic manual as examples of “impulse control disorders,” compulsive shopping is not.

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