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Anti-depressant treats binge shopping

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STANFORD, Calif., Jul 19, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Anti-depressants could help people who are unable to quit shopping, according to researchers at Stanford University in California.

While many people enjoy the satisfaction of buying a new pair of shoes or finding a bargain at a sale, some are unable to stop themselves from spending, particularly when depressed.

Compulsive shopping disorder leads people to "binge shop" and can lead to thousands of dollars in debt, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The Stanford researchers said the anti-depressant citalopram, available as Cipramil or Cipralex, reduces compulsive shopping tendencies in those affected by the disorder.

Citalopram belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Of the 24 compulsive shoppers studied who had suffered financially or personally because of binge shopping for more than a decade, those who were medicated lost the urge to shop.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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