Kleptomania (Treatments)

Psychological Counseling or Therapy

Counseling or therapy may be in a group or one-on-one setting. It is usually aimed at dealing with underlying psychological problems that may be contributing to kleptomania. It may also include:

  • Behavior modification therapy
  • Family therapy


Medications Drugs used for treatment include:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which raise serotonin levels in the brain:

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac; most commonly used)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)

On March 22, 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Public Health Advisory that cautions physicians, patients, families and caregivers of patients with depression to closely monitor both adults and children receiving certain antidepressant medications. The FDA is concerned about the possibility of worsening depression and/or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, especially among children and adolescents at the beginning of treatment, or when there is an increase or decrease in the dose. The medications of concern -- mostly SSRIs (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) -- are: Prozac (fluoxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Paxil (paroxetine), Luvox (fluvoxamine), Celexa (citalopram); Lexapro (escitalopram), Wellbutrin (bupropion), Effexor (venlafaxine), Serzone (nefazodone), and Remeron (mirtazapine). Of these, only Prozac (fluoxetine) is approved for use in children and adolescents for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Prozac (fluoxetine), Zoloft (sertraline) and Luvox (fluvoxamine) are approved for use in children and adolescents for the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder.)

Kleptomania. Last reviewed 12/31/1969
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • National Health Information Center
  • Psychiatry Online