HAVE YOU BEEN HARMED BY A PARKINSON’S DISEASE OR RLS MEDICATION?
Mirapex (pramipexole) is a pharmaceutical drug prescribed to individuals with Parkinson’s disease or restless legs syndrome (RLS). The drug was approved in 1997 and is manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. Mirapex works by mimicking the action of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Parkinson’s disease causes progressive loss of dopamine production in the brain, and low dopamine levels have been linked to restless leg syndrome. Dopamine agonist drugs, like Mirapex, treat these symptoms and act in place of dopamine.
Side effects associated with Mirapex include:
- Swelling in the hands and feet
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
- Weight changes
- Stomach pain
Mirapex can cause an increased risk of several more serious side effects as well.
MIRAPEX LINKED TO SUDDEN SLEEP ATTACKS, COMPULSIVE BEHAVIORS
Mirapex can cause patients taking the drug to fall asleep suddenly while doing daily activities, including talking, walking, driving, or eating. In some cases, people taking Mirapex have been involved in car accidents after falling asleep while driving. The disturbing part is in some of these reports, the people did not say they felt sleepy before falling asleep and that it happened without warning.
Patients are urged to refrain from driving while taking Mirapex until they can determine how the drug affects them. Falling asleep while driving or doing other dangerous activities could lead to severe injury and death.
Another side effect associated with Mirapex is unusual actions, especially an increase in compulsive behaviors. When treating patients with Parkinson’s disease, dopamine agonists like Mirapex have been linked to impulse control disorders such as compulsive gambling, sexual behavior, buying, and binge-eating. A study of more than 3,000 Parkinson’s patients taking dopamine agonists revealed 13.6 percent of patients developed at least one of these disorders.
The link has not been made in restless leg syndrome patients due to the difference in dosage given to Parkinson’s patients and RLS patients.
FDA EVALUATING INCREASED RISK OF HEART FAILURE WITH MIRAPEX USE
In 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) informed the public about a potential increased risk of heart failure with Mirapex. The agency said that, after evaluating two studies suggesting an increased onset of heart failure while taking Mirapex, an ongoing safety review will take place.
The FDA is working with the manufacturer of the drug to further clarify the link between the drug and heart failure. One of the studies revealed that newly diagnosed heart failure occurred more frequently in patients taking Mirapex than a placebo, but that the difference was not statistically significant. The second study revealed an increased risk of heart failure only in the first three months of treatment.
Heart failure is characterized by the heart failing to pump enough blood to meet the needs of the rest of the body. Symptoms of heart failure include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic coughing
- Swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, or abdomen
- Lack of appetite
- High heart rate
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED PHARMACEUTICAL DRUG INJURY ATTORNEY
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury due to a serious side effect of Mirapex, contact Thomas J. Henry. Whether you were taking the drug to treat restless leg syndrome or Parkinson’s, you may be entitled to compensation for any illnesses or injuries caused by the dangerous drug. Our experienced dangerous drug injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your claim. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.