Mirapex® (pramipexole) is prescribed to treat symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) and other movement disorders. It is also being studied for the treatment of fibromyalgia, depression and other problems. As a dopamine agonist, Mirapex® stimulates nerves in the brain which are normally stimulated by dopamine, a brain chemical that helps control motor functions and movement. The areas of the brain and the dopamine receptors that Mirapex® stimulate, particularly within the brain’s mesolimbic pathway, are the areas associated with addictive behaviors.
According to a study published in 2003 by researchers at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Research Center at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Arizona found increased pathological gambling in those being treated with high-dose dopamine agonist therapy, and in particular with Mirapex®. Further, The lead author of a Mayo Clinic study, published in the July 12, 2005, issue of Archives of Neurology, has explained that when a patient develops the Mirapex® side effects of compulsive behaviors but then stops using Mirapex®, the results are very dramatic “like a light switch being turned off when they stopped the drug.”
In May of 2005, Pfizer Inc. and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. were sued in Ontario Superior Court for Mirapex’s® propensity to trigger compulsive behaviors. This problem was reaffirmed in August of 2005, when Mayo Clinic researchers found 22 percent of people (or 1 out of 5) with Parkinson's disease treated with drugs that include Mirapex®, Requip®, or Permax® reported episodes of uncontrollable sleepiness, such as falling asleep while driving.
If you or a loved one has developed compulsive behaviors since beginning treatment with Mirapex®, you may contact us for a free case analysis and consultation.