Mirapex is a dopamine agonist that is used to treat Parkinson’s Disease and restless leg syndrome. It is manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim and Pfizer and it was approved by the FDA in 1997.
Parkinson’s Disease occurs because of a lack of the neurotransmitter dopamine in certain areas of the brain. Dopamine helps people control their movements and increases feelings of happiness and satisfaction.
At the end of 2004, the drug accounted for almost 18 percent of prescriptions written to treat Parkinson’s disease.
Dopamine produces a rush in the brain of people who are anticipating a reward or excitement. Many experts believe that such a biochemical reaction is behind the reports of compulsive behavior linked to Mirapex.
Mirapex and Gambling Addiction
Since its approval, hundreds of Mirapex users have claimed that they developed compulsive behaviors. In addition to gambling addictions, people treated with Mirapex have suffered from various impulse control disorders such as compulsive shopping, sexual addictions and eating disorders.
Users of Mirapex claimed they had no prior history of obsessive or compulsive behaviors. In most cases, the compulsive behavior subsides once Mirapex is discontinued.
Boehringer Ingelheim and Pfizer have denied that there is an association between these behaviors and this medication.
Boehringer Ingelheim and Pfizer received reports linking the drug to compulsive behavior during clinical trials conducted in the 1990s. They also received reports of patients developing gambling addictions after it came on the market.
In July 2005, Mayo Clinic researchers reported in the Archives of Neurology more documented behavior that supported earlier observations linking dopamine agonist drugs with gambling addiction and compulsive behaviors.
The report detailed 11 Parkinson’s patients who developed gambling problems while taking Mirapex or similar drugs between 2002 and 2004. After the study’s completion, the Mayo clinic researchers identified 14 additional patients with the problem.
Mirapex Side Effects
The impulse control problems experienced by Mirapex users have resulted in bankruptcies, broken marriages, depression and even suicide.
As a result, many have filed lawsuits against Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim in an attempt to hold these companies accountable for marketing a dangerous drug, and to regain some sense of control over their lives.
If you or someone you love developed a gambling addiction or some other compulsive behavior after starting treatment with Mirapex, contact us today. You may have a case against the drug manufacturer.
Call us toll-free 1-888-GARRETT (1-888-427-7388) or fill out our contact form for a free legal consultation.
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