mirapex, (pramipexole dihydrochloride) is a medication used to treat Parkinson’s disease and restless leg syndrome. It is a type of dopamine agonist which functions similarly to naturally occurring dopamine chemicals in the brain and it binds to dopamine receptors and stimulates them like natural dopamine and it acts to prevent dopamine deficiencies. At this time there is no generic version of Mirapex (pramipexole) products available in the United States. The first patent for the medication will expire in March 2011. However, Barr Pharmaceuticals has challenged the Mirapex patents in court, and due to the results of that settlement, Barr will be able to market a generic version as early as January 2010.
Dangers Associated with Use of Mirapex
Generally recognized side effects of Mirapex use are minor and include nausea, dizziness and drowsiness but any patients taking the drug should be on notice that there are other, much more severe, side effects associated with the use of this drug such as hallucinations, compulsive behaviors, and serious lung, chest and heart problems. There have been many reports of dangerous compulsive behaviors have occurred in connection with patients taking Mirapex. Gambling, hypersexuality, and binge eating were among compulsive behaviors that suddenly developed in people taking the drug who had no history of these kinds of problems. Although it is difficult to determine with absolute certainty that Mirapex caused those dangerous behaviors, patients and clinical providers prescribing Mirapex should keep a watch out for such behaviors in patients taking the medication.
Side Effects and Symptoms of Adverse Reactions
The following are common side effects and symptoms of adverse reaction to Mirapex:
- The medication may cause you to fall asleep during the day, sometimes without warning. This can be especially dangerous if you are driving a car or operating heavy machinery.
- Mirapex can cause low blood pressure, especially when standing or sitting up too quickly.
- The medication can cause hallucinations. This side effect is most common in people taking Mirapex for Parkinson’s disease and in elderly patients.
- There has been one case of rhabdomyolysis (a breakdown of muscle tissue that can lead to kidney damage) that may have been caused by Mirapex.
- In animal studies, Mirapex caused damage to the retinas of the eyes in rats. Similar problems have not been reported in humans, but may still be possible.
- Mirapex can cause serious problems if stopped too quickly. Signs of such problems include high fever, stiff muscles, and an altered state of consciousness.
- Mirapex can cause serious lung, chest, and heart problems as the result of excessive formation of fibrous connective tissue. Rare cases of such problems have been reported with Mirapex, but it is not clear if these problems were caused by the drug or something else.
- Mirapex drug interactions may cause a patient’s body to metabolize other medicines differently than intended causing additional risk of side effects.
- Other medications that can interact adversely with Mirapex include antipsychotics, verapamil, and diltiazem.
Legal Action Available
If you believe that you or one of your family members has suffered a physical or mental injury due to the use of the drug Mirapex it is important to consult with a product liability attorney as soon as possible in order to protect your right and interest and prevent any additional harm or injury from occurring or continuing. You or your family member may have a cause of action in strict liability in connection with a defective pharmaceutical product manufactured by a pharmaceutical provider. A products liability attorney can assist you in filing a claim against that drug manufacturer or retail supplier and help the injured patient to recover the costs of additional treatments to correct or improve any injury and emotional distress and humiliation arising due to adverse reactions to this drug.