I realize that giving L-dopa or similar drugs to people who don't need it would be unethical owing to their side effects*, but given that L-dopa is abused by some Parkinson's disease patients, are there perhaps some reports of similar side-effects/syndrome in non-Parkison's individuals who might abuse L-dopa? I basically want to know whether the drug-induced dopamine dysregulation syndrome can show up in more or less "healthy" (not counting the abuse itself) individuals. I'm aware of course that stimulants (amphetamine, cocaine etc.) can also produce some of the same effects, but these are drugs with a more complex pharmacology.

*Actually, after writing the above, I found out it was given in a fairly recent 2012 study which found no mood effects. It also mentions nothing like dysregulation syndrome being observed in these healthy volunteers. Furthermore, it says that testing higher doses "will be difficult, though, since higher doses of all currently available drugs that selectively augment DA neurotransmission are limited by side effects such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness and drowsiness." So I'm guessing abuse potential in healthy people is nearly nil because of this. Nevertheless, perhaps some accidental poisioning or other odball report exists.

  • $\begingroup$ I guess you can always bet on bodybuilders trying something forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=110631551 but it will be difficult differentiating the placebo effect (never mind all other drugs they take). $\endgroup$ – Fizz Nov 21 '17 at 3:48

Not quite the features of dopamine dysregulation I was looking for, but plain psychosis (persecutory delusions and auditory hallucinations) was discovered in a case of conversion disorder who imagined had Parkinson's and self-medicated. Of note is history family of schizophrenia, but psychosis subsided

Also in not quite healthy subjects, there's a 1971 study of L-dopa in depressed patients. Mood elevation was reported in this study (unlike in the one on healthy volunteers) and some sobjects developed hypomania, but practically all who did had mania before (so they were bipolar). But there's not much detail on the hypomanic features developed on L-dopa. The dosage was higher in this old study, mood effects were not noted until dosage exceeded 300mg, which above the one used in the 2012 study on healthy volunteers.


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