Mirapex Has Been Associated With Impulse Control Disorders Which In Many Cases Have Led To Excessive Gambling, Eating and Sexual Urges
Mirapex, a popular drug in the treatment of Parkinson's disease manufactured and distributed by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, has been at the center of a controversy since hundreds of peoplehave alleged that since taking the medication they are finding themselves feeling powerful urges to gamble, shop, have sex and eat compulsively. Many have stated that they find these urges uncontrollable, resulting in broken marriages, bankruptcy, and host of psychological problems including depression and suicide. Many encounter legal problems in addition to everything else as a result of these compulsions.
Mirapex was approved by the FDA in 1997 and as of the end of 2004 accounted for almost eighteen percent (18%) of prescriptions written to treat Parkinson's disease. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals 2004 annual report listed over $235 million in Mirapex sales in 2004 a 63% increase from the previous year. Millions of doses of Mirapex are prescribed annually in North America.
Gambling, sex and eating are not the only compulsive behaviors being reported. There are cases reporting dozens of other idiosyncratic behaviors. In virtually every alleged case, the person involved had no prior history of obsessive or compulsive behaviors.
A 2003 report in the journal "Neurology" covered the work of researchers at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Research Center in Arizona. They surveyed 1,800 Parkinson's patients over a one year period and determined that of the 529 patients in the study who took Mirapex, eight developed gambling addictions. This leads us to the conclusion that thousands of users may be experiencing these compulsions.
Scientists see a probable connection between Parkinson's disease and dopamine, an important neurotransmitter that is associated with mood, behavior, pleasure and pain, and addiction. Mirapex, a member of the class of drugs called "dopamine agonists" works by imitating the actions of dopamine in the brain, which also helps to control the tremors in smooth muscle that is associated with Parkinson's disease.