Delay Undermines Lawsuit

1 Aug

Mirapex Gambling Victim Waited Too Long to Act
November 14, 2010, 01:30:00PM. By Gordon Gibb Email
Houston, TX: He may have shot himself in the foot by not initiating his Mirapex gambling lawsuit sooner than he did. However, even though Nabil Gazal was barred from pursuing his action due to the statute of limitations, there seems little doubt that the lifelong gambler’s habit may have worsened due to the effects of Mirapex.

Pramipexole dihydrochloride (Mirapex) is prescribed for the treatment of Parkinson’s. However, one of the Mirapex side effects that has proven troubling for many people is the link to compulsive behavior. Patients have reported compulsive shopping, gambling and even sexual behaviors while on a Mirapex regimen for Parkinson’s.

In the case of Gazal, he was started on Mirapex in 2002 after a formal diagnosis of Parkinson’s by doctors who prescribed Mirapex to treat his symptoms. This was five years after Mirapex was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1997, but three years before the first reports of Mirapex and compulsive gambling surfaced in 2005.

By then, according to the September 24th edition of Health Law Week, Gazal had noticed a change in his gambling habits. During his first year on Mirapex, Gazal claims his losses increased 10 to 15 percent—and while he made no mention of this during a 2003 visit to the Baylor College of Medicine’s Parkinson’s Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic, where he was originally diagnosed, he did report an increase in compulsiveness and increased gambling upon a return visit to the clinic in 2005.

Gazal reported to doctors that he could not “leave the table.” He was subsequently put on a lower dose at the conclusion of his visit, on April 8, 2005.

Three months later, on July 11th, the Mayo Clinic would publish its study suggesting a link between Mirapex and compulsive gambling. According to court documents, Gazal reportedly became aware of the Mirapex link to compulsive gambling in late 2005.

However, rather than bring a lawsuit against the manufacturers of Mirapex, Gazal reportedly corresponded with two casinos in a bid for their support to deny his entrance to the facilities, due to the fear his gambling habit had worsened. “[Due] to negative side effects from my serious medication,” Gazal is reported to have written, “I am unable to be in control of my gambling, which has resulted in huge losses in the past few years.”

It appears certain that Gazal was suffering from Mirapex compulsive behavior. However, the plaintiff waited until June 2009 to bring an action in Texas state court against Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., Pfizer Inc., Pharmacia Corp., and Pharmacia & Upjohn Co. LLC, claiming over $20 million in gambling losses. Following the dismissal of a non-diverse defendant, the case was removed to federal court before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred the action to a Minnesota district court as part of the Mirapex Products Liability Multidistrict Litigation.

It was there that the defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff’s case was time-barred. The US District Court for the District of Minnesota agreed, given the application of Texas law to Gazal’s case requiring that personal injury lawsuits commence no longer than two years following the date a cause of action accrues.

The plaintiff admitted that he first became aware of his gambling problem in 2002 and not later than 2003. Gazal also acknowledged that he became aware of a possible link between Mirapex and Mirapex compulsion

The Court noted that the plaintiff could have brought his action as early as 2005 and no later than 2006, rather than waiting until 2009. By then, the statute of limitations pre-empted his capacity to bring the matter to trial.

Anyone suffering from alleged Mirapex behaviors would thus be well served to consult a qualified Mirapex lawyer in a timely fashion.

Mirapex Withdrawal Problems

1 Aug

http://forum.parkinson.org/index.php?/topic/10922-going-through-daws-when-getting-off-mirapex-due-to-icd/

I have been going through a transition from Mirapex to Carbadopa/Levadopa (C/L) due to compulsive gambling associated with taking Mirapex. I have been taking Mirapex for nearly ten years and have been experiencing significant withdrawal symptoms in attempting to go from Mirapex to C/L. I have been off Mirapex since December 4th and continuing to have many issues, anxiety, depression, constant nausea, hot flashes, mouth sores, etc, and it is pure hell. I am providing this information in the hopes that other people with Parkinsons who have been using a dopamine agonist (DA) and are having compulsive behavior will be aware of this prior to going down the path I have chosen. I would be happy to discuss my situation with you at any time.

I visited the Mayo Clinic Oct. 24, 2010 , and reducing the Mirapex was a nightmare. I returned on Dec. 29 and the doctor suggested I keep trying to stay off the Mirapex and continue Carbadopa Levadopa. I had returned that day thinking I would return to Mirapex because I could not bear the symptoms any longer. My doctor convinced me to try to continue a few more weeks upon returning to our home. Also as we were departing from his office he casually mentioned reading the attached paper on the Dopamine Agonist drugs (mirapex and requip are the only two.) After returning we looked up this paper and were quite flabbergasted that he had not mentioned this paper previously.

One recommendation is to return to Mirapex to stop the DAWS symptoms that are so awful. It appears that if I return to Mirapex additional major problems could erupt. I have taken Mirapex agonist for 10 years and I understand this builds up in your system so that returning to the drug even ever so slowly could provoke more compulsions or addional compulsions.

So I continue to adjust to the new drugs, Carbidopa-Levadopa 25-100 mg , Stop Stalevo , then Mirapex (not gradual enough, and then my doctor in pittsburgh made some changes. Still, I feel anxious, depressed, with constant nausea, mouth sores and significant hot flashes. I am currently on Wellbutrin to help with the depression but also tried Lexapro. I have tried Lodosyn, Domperidone, Tigan and Zofran for the nausea with no help. I am currently taking Clonozepam for the anxiety but also tried Xanax.

The last recommendation from my neurologist is to start on 100mg amantadine, one per day, for one week. Then go to 2 per day for a week and see how I respond. The hope is that the amantadine will have the same effect as Mirapex in eliminating my DAWS symptoms but will not bring back my previous compulsion when on Mirapex. However, after reading about the side effects and other potential problems with amantadine I am reluctant to do so. HAS ANYONE ELSE HAD MY SITUATION AND SUCCESSFULLY GOTTEN THRU DAWS??? Is there any new data on this? Any help would be appreciated.

ATTACHED ARTICLE (regarding getting off a dopamaine agonist and going on carbadopa/levadopa)

Reducing Dosage of Parkinson’s Drugs Can Cause Symptoms Similar to Those of Cocaine Withdrawal
In a World First, Researchers Identify and Define Dopamine Agonist Withdrawal Syndrome, or DAWS

NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Study Explains Difficulties in Tapering Parkinson’s Drugs in Patients With Side Effects Such as Compulsive Eating, Pathological Gambling, Compulsive Buying and Hypersexuality

NEW YORK (Jan. 11, 2010) — New research has shown that reducing the dosage of dopamine agonist (DA) drugs, a mainstay treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD), sometimes causes acute withdrawal symptoms similar to those reported by cocaine addicts — including anxiety, panic attacks, depression, sweating, nausea, generalized pain, fatigue, dizziness and drug cravings. These symptoms can be severe, and are not alleviated by other PD medications.

For the first time, researchers have defined this phenomenon, which they call dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome, or DAWS. Led by a physician-scientist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, the study is reported in the Jan. 11 Archives of Neurology.

“Like cocaine and methamphetamines, dopamine agonists work by stimulating the reward pathways in the brain. For this reason, it makes sense that they would engender similar withdrawal symptoms, particularly in those with high cumulative drug exposure,” says senior author Dr. Melissa J. Nirenberg, associate director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and assistant professor of neurology and neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dopamine agonists are highly effective drugs that are prescribed to many Parkinson’s patients to avoid side effects of the “gold standard” drug L-DOPA, particularly abnormal involuntary movements referred to as dyskinesias. (L-DOPA was perfected by Dr. George C. Cotzias of Cornell University Medical College in the late 1960s; dopamine agonists have been available since the 1990s.) DAs are also FDA-approved for treatment of restless legs syndrome, and used off-label for other conditions such as depression and fibromyalgia. In the United States, there are currently two DAs on the market — pramipexole (Mirapex®) and ropinirole (Requip®, Requip XL®).

In recent years, there have been increasing concerns about DA side effects, and particularly the fact that they can cause uncontrolled, compulsive behaviors known as impulse control disorders (ICDs). ICDs are reported to occur in about 14 percent to 17 percent of PD patients who use these drugs, and also occur in people who use DAs to treat other medical conditions. In 2006, Dr. Nirenberg published research linking the use of DAs to compulsive eating; others have linked the drugs to behaviors such as compulsive gambling, buying, hypersexuality and Internet addiction. Patients are often unaware of these addictive behaviors, or may not discuss them with physicians because they are in denial, embarrassed by their symptoms, or unaware that they are a medication side effect.

“Impulse control disorders stemming from use of dopamine agonists can be detrimental to a patient’s financial, social and physical well-being. Our research identifies another concern — namely that some patients experience severe, even intolerable, withdrawal syndromes when their dosage is reduced. In this context, it’s very important that physicians and their patients use DAs judiciously, and exercise caution when they are tapered,” says Dr. Nirenberg.

Study Design and Findings

In the current study, Dr. Nirenberg and first author Christina A. Rabinak, a third-year medical student at Weill Cornell Medical College, performed a retrospective analysis of a cohort of 93 people with Parkinson’s disease, of whom 40 received DAs, and 26 tapered a DA for any of a variety of reasons — most commonly because of ICDs. Among those who tapered a DA, five patients (19 percent) experienced DAWS. Two of the subjects with DAWS recovered fully, but three of the five were unable to successfully discontinue the drug because of severe withdrawal symptoms. These three study participants are currently living with their ICDs.

The NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell researchers made several observations about DAWS:
• DAWS only occurred in patients with ICDs, and not in those who tapered DAs for other reasons. However, only one-third of patients with ICDs experienced DAWS.
• Withdrawal symptoms were only alleviated by increasing the DA dosage. Other treatments, including high doses of L-DOPA, antidepressants, tranquilizers and psychotherapy, were ineffective.
• DAWS correlated with cumulative exposure to DAs, with the most severe symptoms occurring in patients with the greatest DA exposure.
• Subjects with DAWS had milder physical disability than those without.

The Message for Patients & Physicians

“DAWS has been difficult to identify because its symptoms are ‘invisible’ — mainly psychological in nature,” says Dr. Nirenberg. In fact, both patients and physicians have mistaken DAWS for a mental health condition such as anxiety or depression. DAWS has also been misinterpreted as a manifestation of PD itself, or of wearing off between doses of medication — something disproven by the fact that the symptoms are not alleviated by even very high doses of L-DOPA.

Dr. Nirenberg recommends that patients “educate themselves about DA side effects, involve family members and friends in monitoring their behavior for possible ICDs, and promptly inform their physicians if they experience ICDs or DAWS.” The authors also provide specific advice for clinicians who use DAs: (1) avoid prescribing high doses of DAs, (2) closely monitor DA-treated patients for signs of ICDs, (3) warn patients of the risks of DAWS, (4) taper DAs at the first sign of ICDs, and (5) closely monitor patients when tapering DAs, particularly those with ICDs. As for future directions, Dr. Nirenberg stated “the most important unanswered questions are how to reduce the risk of DAWS, and how to treat DAWS once it occurs.”

The current study was supported by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.
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#2 Dr. Okun

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Posted 02 May 2011 – 06:10 AM
First, please know we are all with you and hope that your situation improves soon.

The Dopamine Agonist Withdrawal Syndrome can be very difficult in a subset of patients. There is one article suggesting amantadine helps and I see you have tried that. We have used clozaril here with pretty good success in severe cases.

I will post for other suggestions.
Michael S. Okun, M.D.
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#3 dipnose

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Posted 02 May 2011 – 09:06 PM
Dr. Okun, on 02 May 2011 – 06:10 AM, said:
First, please know we are all with you and hope that your situation improves soon.

The Dopamine Agonist Withdrawal Syndrome can be very difficult in a subset of patients. There is one article suggesting amantadine helps and I see you have tried that. We have used clozaril here with pretty good success in severe cases.

I will post for other suggestions.

Dr. Okun,

Thank you so much for your feedback. I don’t feel so alone with my issues. I have not tried the amantadine yet (my previous posting may not have been clear). I am concerned about taking it due to side effects and possible withdrawal problems in the future. Having the Mirapex DAWS problem has made me very concerned about trying other meds that could make matters worse. Nausea is one of my worst DAWS symptoms. Before trying amantadine should I try Parcopa? I understand that it may help nausea as well.
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#4 woodbee

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Posted 02 May 2011 – 11:07 PM
Dr. Okun, on 02 May 2011 – 07:10 AM, said:
First, please know we are all with you and hope that your situation improves soon.

The Dopamine Agonist Withdrawal Syndrome can be very difficult in a subset of patients. There is one article suggesting amantadine helps and I see you have tried that. We have used clozaril here with pretty good success in severe cases.

I will post for other suggestions.

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#5 woodbee

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Posted 02 May 2011 – 11:59 PM
Hi

I’m sorry to read about your difficulties changing medications. I experienced DAWS five years ago when I went off Mirapex after only having used it for 6 months. I went off gradually as directed but in spite of that had the worst symptoms I’ve ever experienced, very torturous . ..many like you describe as well as crawling skin sensations that were pure hell. I got through it but it took several days. The young intern I was seeing at a large university hospital was unsympathetic and I believe unaware that this type of withdrawal even happened to people. it was only shortly after this experience that I saw the first reports of DAWS. I really wish I could offer you some hope or alternatives to help you but I can ‘t. This is a serious problem with agonists, one that I hope the medical community will take seriously. At the time I experienced DAWS I wanted to die to escape the horrible symptoms. This is not easy to write about. But it is also the reason I implore movement disorder doctors to please please please help these individuals. The isolation one feels and a sense of being abandoned by the medical community makes it even worse. I sympathize with what you are going through and I hope you will experience relief soon. I hope Dr O will search for more ways of helping you.

With sincere hopes that you recover soon,
Eileen
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#6 netgypsy

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Posted 03 May 2011 – 12:00 AM
Be sure to optimize your dosage of sinemet with your docs help because it stopped my anxiety quite well once I had the right dose. I too went through horrendous withdrawal symptoms and panic attacks and nearly drove my SO crazy. She says she had to be crazy to stay around to help me deal with it. Truly horrible but it will improve so hang in there. I’m totally off agonists YAAAAYYY. Horrible drugs for many people
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#7 Dr. Okun

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Posted 03 May 2011 – 06:37 AM
Optimization of sinemet is a great thing and may help.

Nausea can be treated by adding 25-75mg of carbidopa (Lodosyn) to each dose of sinemet.

Sinemet and Pracopa are exactly the same as far as absorption– one just dissolves in the mouth but its absorption curves in the body are roughly the same.

Domperidone is a great drug for nausea that does not respond to lodosyn.

We have tried amantadine and clozaril for treatment of severe ICD’s and DAWS.
Michael S. Okun, M.D.
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#8 dipnose

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Posted 07 May 2011 – 08:55 PM
Dr Okun,

I am currently on sinemet, 25-100, three times a day. I also take Klonipin, as needed, and Wellbutrin, 150 mg once a day but continue to have many DAWS symptoms. At the suggestion of my neurologist I am considering trying amantadine, starting with 100 mg per day for one week and then 200 mg per day for the second week. My neurologist says if that does not help my DAWS symptoms I should then consider going back on Mirapex and deal with the side effects as best I can.

My quesstion is if I try amantadine for two weeks and then have to go to Mirapex, what will be the withdrawal side effects of stopping the amantadine? Will I potentially have significant withdrawal side effects stopping the mantadine after taking it for this short period of time or can I go straight to Mirapex from amantadine without withdrawal symptoms? I have read that stopping amantadine can cause severe withdrawal symptoms and I am of course very concerned after experiencing the awful withdrawal symptoms from Mirapex.
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#9 dipnose

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Posted 07 May 2011 – 09:53 PM
I am considering going directly back on Mirapex. I realize the potential for ICD exists if I do. Is there any other reason I should not do this??
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#10 Dr. Okun

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Posted 08 May 2011 – 02:39 PM
First question-

Amantadine is a pretty weak PD drug and so far we are not aware of common withdrawal symptoms of going on and off—of course there is not much data–however clinical experience has been ok.

Second, after impulsive/compulsive issues we almost never return to the agonists. We usually go to a drug like seroquel and if that doesn’t work clozaril.
Michael S. Okun, M.D.
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Stories of Obsessive Compulsive Behavior Caused by Mirapex from Love & Casino War Poker Blog

1 Aug

http://loveandcasinowar.com/blogarch/000267.php

Mirapex, a drug given to Parkinson’s disease patients has been shown to cause compulsive gambling.

An unusually large number of patients taking Mirapex gambled themselves into debt, while patients taking other drugs did not, the team at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Research Center in Phoenix, Arizona reported.
Link (thanks, Neil and Jules!)
Of 529 Mirapex patients studied, 9 developed compulsive gambling habits. None of them had any history of compulsive gambling. No patients studied who were not taking Mirapex became compulsive gamblers.

If they’re able to trace the root cause of what caused the compulsive gambling, it could lead to some possible treatments for extreme problem gamblers, or at least a better understanding about chemical origins of behaviors like this. On the other hand, it could also lead to the overprescription of drugs for anyone who loses more than $100 in one sitting.

August 13 2003 | permalink(551 players) | 0 pointers
comments
Mirapex DOES cause compulsive behavior in some folks. I have a very good friend who dropped $265,000 in two months! It ruined lives. Beware!

Posted by: Knows from Experience on August 17, 2003 04:41 PM
Mirapex can cause pathological gambling in people with Parkinson’s disease. I am living proof. At the age of 51 I developed a pathological gambling disorder that has devastated me financially. At the time my gambling problem started I was taking a prescribed dose of Mirapex three times daily. My losses are in excess of 750,000.00. I was eventually taken off of Mirapex due to several close calls while driving and suddeningly falling asleep. Permax (peroglide) was used to replace Mirapex and I remain on it at the present. Gambling is the only addiction I’ve ever experienced in my entire life and it started while I was on Mirapex. I have been through the complete treatment for compulsive gambling at CORE in Shreveport, LA and still struggle daily with the problem. I hope to stop Permax therapy in the near future with thoughts that it’s abscence might improve my ability to avoid gambling.

Posted by: dan leach on August 24, 2003 10:00 AM
My gambling addiction started after two years of Mirapex. I lost around $150,000 or so. After I stopped Mirapex totally, all desre to gamble went away in a few days. I had to put myself back on Mirapex, at half the dose I was taking earlier (1.5mg 3x) so I could still move around. There is a class action suit being prepared in San Bernardino County, California, by a lawyer named Soheila Azizi. Her number is (909) 484-9992. Give her a call if you like.
Posted by: angelo d’angelo on September 13, 2003 10:38 PM
I AM LOOKING INTO THE CONNECTION OF COMPULSIVE GAMBLING AND PARKINSONS AND OR MEDICATIONS CONNECTION WITH GAMBLING BEHAVIOR WITH A VA DOCTOR AND THE EMAIL I AM GETTING ALONG WITH THE SAD STORIES AND ITS AMAZING —IF U CAN HELP OR COMMENT IT WILL BE APPRECIATED TY

Posted by: blake on September 15, 2003 10:01 AM
I have gambled sporadically since I was a teenager, but never had “heavy” losses and it was not a problem. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1988 and I have been taking Permax for about 10 years. When the lottery came to Georgia, I bought scratch offs a little at a time and then more and more. Then I started playing video machines and still buying scratch offs. I went through about $150,000 and still have $90,000 in credit card debts. I recently heard about the study linking Parkinson’s drugs to compulsive gambling and got an appointment with my neurologist (head of major university neurology dept.) to discuss it. we had not discussed my gambling problem before and he feels certain that my taking Permax definitely could have caused me to gamble out of control. He said Permax or pergolide affects the portion of the brain that controls your inhibitions. He thinks I was unable to not make reasonable decisions and also take greater risks. I am looking for legal counsel and am going to see what happens.

Posted by: Jim Shaw on October 14, 2003 10:38 AM
I’m a 57 yr old female who has been taking Mirapex since about 1999 or 2000 & in the past year or so had developed a terrible gambling addiction. I’ve lost tons including our house. It was as though the devil was taking over & I could not stop. I wrote bad checks, lied to family & friends, borrowed from family. I was taking Mirapex for Restless Leg Syndrome. All I thought about was gambling – it was awful. I even ban myself fom the riverboats – but then I went nuts with scratch offs. Anything I won was never enough. I was about ready to check myself in to some hospital or something, when my sister-in-law heard on the news about the link of Mirapex to Gambling. I researched & found info on WebMD & so I quit it in August, 2003, and now I feel normal & don’t seem to have a gambling addiction. I’m convinced the Mirapex was causing the addiction. I had always enjoyed gambling – but with the addiction, I didn’t really enjoy it – but I just had to do it anyway. It was the most awful experience I have ever gone through.

Posted by: Sue on November 21, 2003 12:08 AM
I’m writing this about my dad’s experience. As a family, we just found out about the correlation between mirapex and gambling recently. Meanwhile, my dad has been on the drug for 5 or 6 years and in the past 2-3 years has lost over $800,000 in our estimation. We can’t get him to stop and he doesn’t believe its the medication, but we haven’t shown him the online articles yet. I’m about to do that, and hopefully that will help.

Posted by: L.S. on March 24, 2004 02:35 PM
I am still in disbelief. My father, who had always been the most logical thinking person that I have ever known was diagnosed with Parkinson’s the day before Thanksgiving in 2002. In January of 2003 his neurologist perscribed Mirapex. In February of 2004 I halped my mom pick up the pieces of their life when she found out that they had two weeks to vacate their home that was lost to foreclosure and had no money in the bank. It was all such a surprise, she worked, he was retired and took care of paying bills…he actually took care of buying every scratch off ticket and lottery ticket he could get his hands on. Just yesterday he went to his neurologist and when the doctor pressed about why he was depressed my dad told him about the gambling. The doctor smiled. Then took him off of Mirapex immediately…he had just recently read about the relation between the drug and gambling. While the shock has not worn off yet it is such a relief to know that this may be the reason that my dad became such a stranger to his family.

Posted by: Tanya on March 26, 2004 08:15 AM
These comments make my blood boil. I lost a pile of money thanks to Mirapex. I never gambled at all to speak of until that drug utterly ruined me financially. What is worse, it will take years to resolve this matter with thte drug companies. What are we to do in the meantime? Eat dog food????? I hope the officers and shareholders in these companies are proud of themselves.

Posted by: angelo21122 on March 26, 2004 08:57 AM
My husband almost left me!!!! I could not stop gambling and was so ashamed of what I was doing I could not bring myself to tell my PD specialist. The worst part about it was 6 months before I actually did tell him, I was seeing a therapist because I thought it was me. Because I went from not gambling to all out gambling, I asked the therapist if it could be the medication. The next session, he said it was NOT due to the medication, so I went another six months gambling away and making my husband so depressed, he had to go on antidepressants. Not to mention my own depression and the “loss of me” my children and grandchildren were feeling. I have no idea how much I lost, a lot. I also stayed up late working on art projects and spent a fortune on beads for jewelry, linens on the inernet and whatever I could get my hands on when I wasn’t gambling, to keep me going. I always had to have something to do, with almost no sleep. Oh, and I work full time and was demoted from my job as a supervisor. I have held the same job for 24 years and was so embarrased to have lost my respectability at work. I went off of Mirapex last June and felt the relief immediately. The anger and the tears come much too often when I think of where my head was at when I was on that stuff which I call the medication from hell. I want answers and I don’t know where to go to get them. Why is it still not listed as a side affect? I want that company to pay and to stop making people who are already suffering, now having to live with with yet another devastation, this one financial. I am still suffering from a type of post trauma that I can barely describe and only those that have gone through this would understand.
And now what do we trust, when our lives which we are to have control of and the decisions we make are our responsibilty and the consequences therof? Having taken something that is supposed to help our physical condition, but affects our brains drastically that we no longer have control of our own decision making. We are so vulnerable!!!!
Mary

Posted by: Mary on April 10, 2004 02:32 PM
I know your pain, go to http://www.azizilaw.com, a class action suit is gaining momentum

Posted by: Alan on April 15, 2004 02:01 PM
There have been several comments made by no less than the Medical Director of the National Parkinson’s Foundation, firmly linking the use of dopamine agonists (like Mirapex) to obsessive-compulsive behavior (OCB) such as gambling. The failure of FDA to at least warn patients of the dangers connected with these drugs is absolutely appalling. Meanwhile the profits roll in, and the poor, drug-addled Parkinson’s suffers, who have enough trouble already, gamble away their retirements and their childrens’ college tuition. The drug companies prosper, as do the casinos. Only in America.

Posted by: angelo21122 on April 26, 2004 12:34 PM
My mother was diagnosed with parkinsons about 2 years ago and has been taking Mirapex for a while.We noticed her buying alot of lotto scratch off and playing slots on the computer.We didn’t realize how bad until we realized she has got over 90,000 in credit card debt .We called the doctor and he decreased the mirapex and started seraquil.She was also not sleeping at night and falling asleep in the day and at the wheel of the car.We are going to seek council for this. Especially after seeing this web site.Please if you have any info on lawsuits e-mail me.

Posted by: Cindi on April 28, 2004 11:47 PM
Mirapex has ruined my life. I have never had a gambling problem until I started taking Mirapex. Please e-mail me with any information you might have on litigation.

Posted by: Mel on May 4, 2004 03:11 PM
I have Restless Leg Syndrome and was on Mirapex for 5 yrs. About 2 yrs ago I started gambling online casinos. It got to be so bad I would drive home at lunch just to get a few rounds of the slots in. I don’t know exactly how much money I have spent I’m guessing around $50,000. I almost lost my house & my live in b/f of 5 yrs. I maxed out all my credit cards and am now filing bancrupcy. I had been off Mirapex for about 6 months then returned and low and behold the gambling returned too, after already about losing the house once. I didn’t even have a job and was gambling away. I read the link between Mirapex and gambling and immediatly stopped the Mirapex and the urge to gamble completely went away in about a day or two. There is a class action law suit pending and everyone who reads this needs to go to this site. http://www.azizilaw.com We need to take action!

Posted by: Juli on May 17, 2004 08:29 PM
Help!! My husband has gambled us to almost bankruptcy. An Emory doctor knew of his obsessive compulsive behaviours and could not answer us straight. It’s as if he didn’t see me cry, see my humiliation, or hear my words. Even when we said the medicines are too expensive and to help us fill out pertinent info to acquire free medicine, he said he has no time for that. “Call the pharmacies to see who offers cheaper permax” he said. “His patients don’t spend $700 a month on medicines” . He’s out of touch with the reality of this disease. He had my husband on 6mg daily and then we found out thanks to a registered nurse that he should have been on only 3mg. Why bother to sue? I’ll lose anyway. Now he’s on requip and boy what a change. No more schizofrenic looks, no more online gambling (cross my fingers), no more scratch cards, even maniac depression looks as though has subsided. Only time will tell. Can anyone tell me if there’s a lawyer that can help us? Where does a parkinsons patient get a job? How do I avoid bankruptcy? Where do almost destitute people go for help? I’m just a mother of three and could never make enough to support this stressed out family?

Posted by: M.A. on May 31, 2004 01:38 PM
GO TO THE WEBSITE azizilaw@azizilaw.com and sign up for the class action suit. It is the only hope. I talked to an employee of Boehringer Ingelheim, who now produces Mirapex; he said that they are awaiting a decision from FDA as to whether a warning about obsessiuve behavior has to be included with future prescriptions. News about this is getting out, but IT WON”T WORK IF YOU DON”T SIGN UP FOR THE LAWSUIT.

Posted by: angelo21122 on June 2, 2004 08:38 PM
GO TO THE WEBSITE azizilaw@azizilaw.com and sign up for the class action suit. It is the only hope. I talked to an employee of Boehringer Ingelheim, who now produces Mirapex; he said that they are awaiting a decision from FDA as to whether a warning about obsessiuve behavior has to be included with future prescriptions. News about this is getting out, but IT WON”T WORK IF YOU DON”T SIGN UP FOR THE LAWSUIT.

Posted by: angelo21122 on June 2, 2004 08:39 PM
My husband was on permax and unbeknownst to me, he ran up around $100,000 in gambling debts, mostly on the internet, that I cannot possibly repay. He died May 12, 2003. Probate is still pending.

Posted by: shirley fritzler on June 6, 2004 12:22 AM
my dad had parkinson’s for 10 years… he took mirapex for 9 years. it made him crazy impulsive…. he did things like buy 2 boats in one week, he hallucintated and was hospitalized in march. he complained to his doctor that he felt crazy and they put him on antidepressants which made him worse. on june 24, 2004 he shot himself. the pain this has brought on me and my family is devastating. we loved him so much and now we have lost him due to mirapex. anyone know what i can do? someone should pay for the loss of my dad and to ensure this does not happen to another family. i miss him endlessly, he was too young to die.

Posted by: kim on July 12, 2004 04:19 AM
please email me. we need help.

Posted by: kim on July 12, 2004 04:27 AM
please email me. we need help.

Posted by: kim on July 12, 2004 04:27 AM
I am deeply sorry to hear of this tragedy. All I can suggest is contacting the only attorney I know of who is organizing a class action suit. Email her through her website at azizilaw.com.

Angelo

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 13, 2004 09:17 AM
I am deeply sorry to hear of this tragedy. All I can suggest is contacting the only attorney I know of who is organizing a class action suit. Email her through her website at azizilaw.com.

Angelo

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 13, 2004 09:17 AM
My husband was diagnosed with PD in 1991. In 1995 he was put on Mirapex, at that time he went from loving dad and husband to compulsive gambler losing around a milliom dollars. This man went from a converative spender to complusive gambler almost overnight.

Posted by: Kathy Gallo on July 13, 2004 04:05 PM
I am 53 years old and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s for 9 years. I was on Mirapex for four years, which caused a major compulsive gambling problem. When I stopped the Mirapex, the gambling also stopped. I was put on Tasmar, which made me irritable and the dose was cut back causing a lot of down time. The medications are currently being adjusted. Is there any feedback on the new injection drug, or replacement therapy for Mirapex. and suggestions on how to get comfortable during off time? Thank you.

Posted by: P on August 7, 2004 07:50 PM
I do not have Parkinson’s disease but have been taking the drug Mirapex for REM Sleep Behavior Disorder and RLS. I developed a sever gambling problem right away. I am retired and had my house paid off. Since I have developed a gambling problem, I have mortgaged my home for $70,000, borrowed $21,000 from my pension fund and maxed out all my credit cards. In short, I am ruined. I have ruined the quality of the rest of my life. I have also hired an attorney. He is researching now. He also found an attorney in California named Soheila Azizi who is putting together a class action suit regarding Mirapex and compulsive gambling. You can put in an application to join at http://www.azizilaw.com. Phizer, who makes Mirapex, is the same company that the Fed. Gov’t is suing for prefabricating uses for the drug Neurontin. They even paid doctors to sign off on articles written by their staff.

I am at presently still researching here in Alabama to initiate my own lawsuit, but I may join that one. Good luck to you all! You may e-mail me at sbr35173zip@aol.com

Posted by: Sally on August 17, 2004 10:22 AM
I just stumbled across this website. It’s the first website I’ve found that addresses Parkinson’s and gambling on an individual level. My hope is that there might be someone out there who can relate to my situation and offer some insights on how to turn my life around.

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s just over 10 years ago. I don’t recall ever having been prescribed Mirapex, however I seem to recall having been prescribed Permax at one time but will need to do some research to be sure. I’m presently taking Amantadine, Requip and carbadopa/levadopa ER.
I never enjoyed gambling until about five years ago when I decided to go to local casino with my wife. I soon found myself going more often and more often. It wasn’t long before I was staying until I absolutely had nothing left to gamble with.
To make a long story short, we eventually sold our home in the city to move to a rural area and a less expensive home. Now, a year and a half later I’ve managed to waste away a lifetime of savings. I have no credit, I am behind with my bills and have even managed to get my self into debt with various family members. My self-esteem has never been lower.
I have a fairly good job at the moment however I know I need to get a grip on this while I still have the ability to work. I’m in my mid 50s and because of the Parkinson’s my ability to maintain a job is becoming more of a challenge all the time. While I have a good reporte with my neurologist, I haven’t been able to bring myself to address this with him. I’m aware that I will eventually need to discuss it with him.
The thing I do know all too well is that I am totally responsible for this behavior and that it is my own doing that has gotten me into this situation. What I’m searching for is an answer to the nagging suspicion that just maybe there is a connection between this compulsion and Parkinson’s or the medications used to treat it. If so, just maybe I can begin to find a way to turn things around.

Any insights, comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Marty
martycee@mchsi.com
Posted by: Marty on September 19, 2004 03:27 PM
And…yes, there was a landmark study done by Dr. Mark Stacy at the Mohammed Ali Parkinson’s Clinic in Phoenix; it was released to the public in mid-August of 2003. It revealed an increased risk of gambling in those Parkinson’s patients taking dopamine agonists. Use any major search engine–just query on the terms Mirapex and gambling. You’ll find lots of press reporting.

Note in previous postings to this log that there is a class-action suit underway by people who developed obsessive disorder while on Mirapex. Go to http://www.azizilaw.com and click on the Mirapex button at the top of the page.

Posted by: angelo21122 on September 20, 2004 10:16 AM
Has anyone experienced problems with excessive gambling while taking requip?

Posted by: Nancy on September 21, 2004 08:28 AM
(Sorry if this is a multiple dupe)
Yes, regarding Requip and gambling see my post above. It caused me to gamble obsessively for the three months or so I was taking it. The gambling stopped when I stopped the Requip.

I strongly advise you only halt this or any other drug under the supervision of your doctor.

Posted by: angelo21122 on September 21, 2004 10:36 AM
Nancy,
In answer to your question, “Yes, I am presently taking “Requip” and struggling with gambling.
Marty

Posted by: Marty on September 21, 2004 06:32 PM
I just discovered in a UK medical journal, the East Anglia Medicines Information Service, dated August of 2002, the statement that dopamine agonists have been implicated in acting as a “trigger” for “pathological
gambling.” The report cites the following source report: Prescrire International 2002; 11 (57): 16.
This was a full year before the release of the Stacy Study in Arizona. The failure of the drug companies to put a two-cent warning sticker on the container has cost PD sufferers literally millions, and, as of this date, there is still no obligatory advisory. The situation is appalling.
Posted by: angelo21122 on October 12, 2004 11:13 AM
My husband has experienced the obsessive gambling, while being on Requip. After finally being taken off this medication, on our request, the obsessive gambling and other obsessive behavior stopped. Is there any suit out there that names Requip as the problem? This has been very devastating for us.

Posted by: Linda on October 29, 2004 07:10 PM
Linda:

The only active lawsuits of which I am aware concern Mirapex, which is similar to Requip, but from a different company. You may have to break this ground yourself via your own lawyer. There does appear, as of late, to be a growing groundswell of similar complaints about Requip. I can only suggest you consult a local attorney.

Posted by: angelo21122 on October 30, 2004 08:18 AM
I devekoped a devastating gambling addiction among other unusual behaviors while taking Mirapex. It ruined my life. I lost a business, declared personal bankruptcy and left me with severe depression. My neurologist finally realized that the drug was responsible for my compulsive and troubling behavior and took me off Mirapex. Within a few weeks my gambling urges disappeared as well as the other irrational thinking that I had. There are too many PD patients on agonist drugs that have had similar experiences and whose lives are ruined. Why didn’t the drug companies who knew about these potential problems advise doctors of this sooner than they did? And shouldn’t they be held accountable? Alot of people suffered much longer than was necessary. I would like to know if anyone is going forward with litigation either personally or in a class action suit.

Posted by: phyllis on November 10, 2004 09:33 PM
Welcome to the club. I’m ditto with you on all counts. Check further back into this log to see about the lawsuit. The only attorney I know of who’s going forward with action is Ms. Soheila Azizi in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Email her through her website at http://www.azizilaw.com. Good luck to you. It would help everyone, yourself included to go to http://www.fda.gov and file a report on this drug, it’s up to you.

Posted by: angelo21122 on November 11, 2004 07:55 AM
Dr. Abraham Lieberman, the Medical Director of the U.S. National Parkinson’s Foundation, recently attended a conference on PD in Austria. He posted the following on his foundation’s website (emphasis mine):

“Yesterday I co-chaired a meeting on compulsive behavior in PD. This includes compulsive gambling. More than 150 leading neurologists from throughout the world were in attendance.
“I asked how many of the neurologists have encountered compulsive behavior, especially compulsive gambling in PD, and almost 75% of the neurologists in the room had encountered it. It is not an isolated problem. More than 50% regarded it as a big problem.

“Dr. Nir Giladi, my co-chairman from Israel, presented a paper on compulsive behavior in PD including compulsive gambling. The data he presented indicated it occurred in younger patients and MORE ON AGONISTS than on levodopa.

“The proceedings will be published in a book that will come out early next year, and this will serve to bring the problem to the attention of the public, most of which is unaware of the problem.”

Posted by: angelo21122 on November 12, 2004 03:49 PM
I ALSO HAVE EXPERIENCED COMPULSIVE GAMBLING ON REQUIP.
I TOOK MYSELF OFF REQUIP AND 1.5 WEEKS LATER I STOPPED GAMBKING.
MY DOCTOR PUT ME BACK ON REQUIP AND THE GAMBILING STARTED AGAIN.
I AM NOT LOOKING FOR A LAWSUIT ONLY AN ALTERNATIVE TO REQUIP.

Posted by: MICKEY on November 15, 2004 08:29 PM
The only other dopamine agonist I know of on the market is Mirapex, which seems to cause an even higher rate of compulsive behavior than Requip. There was one called Permax, but I think it may have been recalled (I’m not sure.) When I quit Requip, after having used Mirapex for two years (with heavy gambling), my doctor just kept me on Sinemet and Comtan.

Posted by: angelo21122 on November 16, 2004 08:26 AM
Looking for Canadians with this problem- addictive gambling possibly linked to this class of drugs for possible future news stories.

Please email me at afavaro@ctv.ca.

Posted by: a favaro on December 2, 2004 02:28 PM
The following story was broadcast on Canadian television today:

Anti-Parkinson’s drugs may play role in gambling
Avis Favaro, CTV Medical Reporter

Some Canadian doctors and patients suspect that a new class of anti-Parkinson’s drugs may play a role in an unusual side effect — the uncontrollable urge to gamble.

“The public should be aware this is a potential problem. Physicians should be aware this is a potential problem,” says Dr. Mark Guttman.

Guttman is the Director of the Centre for Movement Disorders in Markham, Ont., and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

He believes that about 30 of his more than 1,200 Parkinson’s patients have this impulse control problem. Some have lost their homes and their businesses, not to mention hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Guttman wonders whether a class of drugs called dopamine agonists are involved, and he’s trying to start a study to look into the drugs’ effects.

Jill Pritchard of Canada’s Parkinson Society says she suspects any unusual dopamine agonist side effects are underreported.

“It’s embarrassing,” she says. “Who’s going to go to the doctor and say ‘I’ve gambled away my house?’”

That’s what happened to a man we’ll call Jim (he doesn’t want to be identified). Jim has Parkinson’s disease, but the tremors and rigidity he normally experiences are well controlled by his medications.

Jim was always a gambler. But over the last four years, while he was taking dopamine agonists, the gambling became obsessive.

“It got to the point where I would borrow money from anyone. I would lie. I would take money from my wife,” Jim said. “I knew I was doing wrong, but I couldn’t stop myself.”

Most days, Jim would end up at a casino in Toronto where he says he ended up gambling away about $180,000 in a year.

“We don’t know for sure if it’s the drugs,” Guttman says. “But we do know that in many of the people who have come forward, if we cut back the dose or eliminate the drug, that urge to gamble goes away.”

Another Parkinson’s patient who ended up with a gambling problem while on dopamine agonists is Michael. He’d sneak away to the casino whenever he could. Sometimes, he’d make three or four trips each day to go gambling.

Michael gambled away $30,000 in a matter of months. But when doctors changed the dose Michael was taking, the problem disappeared.

“We cut the medication in half and the cloud began lifting,” Michael said. “I could see clearly from that point. Now that I’ve been off it for two to three weeks, I feel like myself again.”

Besides starting up a study, some patients also say there should be a warning about possible side effects on the drug’s label.

Before any link is proven, anyone taking this class of drugs is urged to consult their doctor before altering their treatment.

Posted by: angelo21122 on December 6, 2004 08:26 AM
Another story aired on CBS station KGAN in Iowa on nov. 30. It also discussed a man that had a drug induced gambling addiction caused by Mirapex. I am Jim Sweet, the man from Calif. that lost $500,000 and is suing Boehringer and Pfizer. The drug companies need to wake up!

Posted by: Jim on December 7, 2004 01:42 PM
I started on mirapex in 1996-7. Iwas on the drug about 3 or 4 months. It did not heip my PD. Durin that time I did not pay much attention to its side effects. I was switched to requip ayear or two later. I’ve always gambled a little on occasional business trips, but not like after starting requip. Since starting this drug Ihave gambled like there is no tomorrow. I’m trying ti titrate down and quit requip but I’m losing the help that the drug gives to my PD. I’ve had to give my daughter control of my checkbook so I will not buy scratch offs, something I’ve never done before.

Does anyone know of a lawyer that is handling requip claims?

Posted by: george carpenter on December 7, 2004 02:03 PM
I only know of one lawyer doing anything at all regarding dopamine agonists, and she is concentrating on Mirapex. Her website is http://www.azizilaw.com and she is in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

You may have to scout around for a local attorney. As this effort generates more publicity and awareness, it may be easier to find someone who will take your case.

Posted by: angelo21122 on December 7, 2004 03:42 PM
I would like to know how many of these folks that have turned into Pathalogical gamblers became that way after playing video poker machines? Have you found that your gambling became so addicitive AFTER you started playing video poker?

Posted by: D Sofich on December 10, 2004 12:13 PM
Canadian TV has done yet another news report on Mirapex and gambling. Go to http://www.ctv.ca to see it. This thing is snowballing (No pun intended!)

Angelo

Posted by: angelo21122 on December 13, 2004 08:57 AM
My husband started taking Mirapex in 1998. After a month or so, his behavior changed drasticallyu. He had always been a cautious person,quietr and reserved. He started to gamble at the riverboat, shopping at Walmart while I slept everynight, and eventually got arrested for trying to get into a neighbors house because he thought she was sending him telepathic messges that she was interested. He ended up in a physiachatric hospital for 3 weeks. I had to take 2 months off from my job, and we ended up taking bankruptcy. The embarrassmet has been terriblr. I heard about the link to Mirapex and compulsive behavior on the news. I called his neurologist for two weeks about his actions, but she told me not to take him off the medication. After he was arrested, she told her nurse to tell me to stop the Mirapex immediatelyu. I wonder how many doctors have known about the side effects and di not inform their patients and fam,ilies?

Posted by: Patricia Elder on December 23, 2004 03:03 PM
I started gambling while on a cruise a year and a half ago. I then moved on to the internet. I was taking mirapex at the time but soon was changed to reqip . I had no idea it was related to my meds. So far we have refinanced our home, took out a second mortgage , and I still can’t stop. On a whim I decided to see if there was anything on the internet about it. That is how I found your site. Frankly I am shocked! I take large doses of requip and the time it did cross my mind that it may be related to my meds my husband said I was making excuses. Our marriage of over 34 years is almost over and he blames me for everything. I guess he is right. I don’t understand why no one warns you if this is a wide spread problem as it seems to be. I had gone on cruises and never walked into a casino before and my husband knew this. Still he rejected the idea of it being related to my parkinsons or the medication. To make it worse he is a Minister and I have lost all faith in him because he has not supported me I feel emotionally. He took my name off everything and I was always the one who paid the bills, etc. Now I can’t even know about a checking account. Is there help? I have creditors calling and I am about to be on the streets so to speak since he has said he is tired of my gambling and he wants a better life. So do I! Help! Pat

Posted by: pat on December 24, 2004 03:19 PM
I started gambling while on a cruise a year and a half ago. I then moved on to the internet. I was taking mirapex at the time but soon was changed to reqip . I had no idea it was related to my meds. So far we have refinanced our home, took out a second mortgage , and I still can’t stop. On a whim I decided to see if there was anything on the internet about it. That is how I found your site. Frankly I am shocked! I take large doses of requip and the time it did cross my mind that it may be related to my meds my husband said I was making excuses. Our marriage of over 34 years is almost over and he blames me for everything. I guess he is right. I don’t understand why no one warns you if this is a wide spread problem as it seems to be. I had gone on cruises and never walked into a casino before and my husband knew this. Still he rejected the idea of it being related to my parkinsons or the medication. To make it worse he is a Minister and I have lost all faith in him because he has not supported me I feel emotionally. He took my name off everything and I was always the one who paid the bills, etc. Now I can’t even know about a checking account. Is there help? I have creditors calling and I am about to be on the streets so to speak since he has said he is tired of my gambling and he wants a better life. So do I! Help! Pat

Posted by: pat on December 24, 2004 03:19 PM
I am now into my 13th year with parkinsons and find myself inprisioned due to gambling addicition. Mirapex is the common drug that I take …………my life is a living hell……….confined to quarters…………unable to be trusted with a credit card or any money . i have recently signed over power of attorney to my wife who has had enough of my “addiction”
I am currently in “treatment ” counseling ..to be honest is not working ………..other than the therapist agreeing with my wife that i cannot be t r usted with any money.
My only outlet is golfing and i am alloted a dollar to tip the cart man………….embarassed and ashamed…………..depressed and disgusted……….
alone and no future…………….what can i do……….no gamblers help in this area…considering contacting alcahol ann…….
Not the MAN I use to be…………someone please
help !!

Posted by: james newton on December 24, 2004 06:34 PM
please forgive typo’s don’t know how to fix…ty

Posted by: james newton on December 24, 2004 06:35 PM
James, I understand , believe me. I always took care of everything, now my husband opened up a bank account and didn’t tell me. I found out by accident and he still denied it. When after much discussion he finally admitted to opening the account, he said the reason he didn’t want me to know was so I couldn’t get my hands on it. Talk about humiliation. I try so hard but I feel I have no support. I also know it is me that put myself in the position I am in. Ididn’t know until today that it was drug induced by mirapex/requip. I have shared my findings with family who said good now you know what the cause is you can do something about it. I don’t think it is going to be that easy , since I have all the financial burdens of the past year and a half. Plus my family has told me repeatedly of how I have changed. I sleep little, stay up late doing artwork, gambling when I can. I am told I have become a recluse not going out much or do things I use to with the kids and grands. How do you heal all that. I am left out now a lot because they have given up on me. It hurts when you feel there is nobody that cares or understands. From what I have read mirapex/requip has ruined my life. I am not sure if there is any way I can get my life back since I don’t have one anymore. I am a step away from a divorce since my husband has had enough. How do you mend a marriage? I am disillusioned with him because although it takes money to live….I felt that I should have meant more to him than money. Maybe I am wrong. He does not want to start over at this point in his life financially. I really can’t say I blame him in a way because once you are use to buying whatever you want within reason and then have your credit card turned down at the gas station I am sure the embarrassment is great. If anyone has an answer please let me know. Suicide has crossed my mind more than once. I guess I am a coward and can’t take that step. Not yet anyway. Pat

Posted by: pat on December 24, 2004 08:09 PM
To those devastated by this drug–there is hope. Tell everyone you know about the connection. It is very real. Print out the webpages carrying the news, and the weblogs. Contact a local attorney and show him or her the pages, and the fact that CTV and ABC have carried national stories on this problem. Get even! And Pat, PLEASE put the suicide nonsense aside. That’s no way out for anyone. Tell your husband to contact me at angelo21122@yahoo.com.

Posted by: angelo21122 on December 25, 2004 06:45 AM
For all that are suffering from these drug induced addiction caused agonists; mirapex, permax, requip, know that there is hope. The first thing is to get off the agonist with the help of a caring and informed doctor. Dr. Timothy Fong at UCLA is doing a study on the agonist-addiction connection. You can contact him at tfong@mednet.ucla.edu. If you have questions for me or need help, contact me at sweetviking1@msn.com. Take Care, Jim

Posted by: Jim on December 28, 2004 04:38 PM
For all that are suffering from these drug induced addiction caused agonists; mirapex, permax, requip, know that there is hope. The first thing is to get off the agonist with the help of a caring and informed doctor. Dr. Timothy Fong at UCLA is doing a study on the agonist-addiction connection. You can contact him at tfong@mednet.ucla.edu. If you have questions for me or need help, contact me at sweetviking1@msn.com. Take Care, Jim

Posted by: Jim on December 28, 2004 04:39 PM
I have had Parkinson’s since 1998. In January 2004 I started on Mirapex. After 5 Months I had ramped up to 6 mg/day. I had a slow but noticiable personality change. My impulse to gamble at all costs was uncontrollable. I lied, sneeked money, stole(borrowed) from my kids, lied about were I was going, failed to pick up my kids, and more. I sought professional Counseling and was embarrassed to admit my “total” loses.
I had an incredible urge to win my money back. But, I only kept losing more and more. My total lose was close to $40,000. Emtionally I almost drove my “Family” crazy until we heard about the Mirapex link. After letting my nuerolgist know he admitted he had another patient with the same problem. After getting off the Mirapex the desire to gamble left and I could think clear. The only POSITIVE is that it has driven me to my knees and my FAITH in Jesus has been strengthened and is what is keeping me alive each day. My Family still has trouble trusting me and I know it will take some time. My bitterness toward DRUG companies feels useless and I really feel like I have been robbed. I hope the word about this “Psycho” behavior causing drug gets to people ASAP.

Posted by: SP on December 31, 2004 12:17 PM
I dipped into my son’s lawnmowing money to keep gambling; this, after two years of Mirapex. When I quit the damned drug, I just didn’t want to gamble any more. The connection is clear to you and me, but wait until a bunch of mega-buck lawyers working for the drug companies do their thing. I don’t know how some people can sleep at night.

Turk

Posted by: Turk_5 on January 1, 2005 05:11 PM
Like many of you I have been affected by the use of Mirapex. Most of the people commenting on this site are obviously from the USA, I however am from the United Kingdom and I would therefore be grateful if there is anyone who could shed light on whether there are any sufferers here or if anyone in the USA knows of any lawsuits that might be pending in the UK.

I would be grateful for your comments

Many thanks
John Gravell

Posted by: John Gravell on January 2, 2005 09:39 AM
Mr. Gravell:
While I am aware of multiple lawsuits being developed in Canada, I am unaware of any in Britain. I have corresponded with one woman in the UK whose husband began gambling after using Requip, which is similar to Mirapex.
Having lived some years in Yorkshire, I believe your legal system may make it more difficult to bring an action for damages; you may be obligated to pay your solicitor even if you lose. Here, attorneys are allowed to work on a fee-contingent basis.

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 2, 2005 10:58 AM
Does anyone know of any attorneys other than Azizi who are organizing lawsuits regarding Mirapex?

Posted by: Turk_5 on January 6, 2005 09:33 PM
My god all these stories sound like what my life has been like over the past months. My husband is on the Mirapex & our lives have been in utter termoil since. Gambling away all our savings in just 3 months behind my back. Borrowing money from friends, the lies & decete has been unbearable to the point I have been talking to divorce lawyers. After 20 yrs together these have truely been the WORST of times & I really need it to stop NOW! My family who once loved my husband as much as I has now disowned him, which is also stressful. If this is truely a contributor to this horrible addiction then we will absolutely be checking into the class action suit immediately. This in one EVIL drug that should be taken off the market & the manufacturers should be held responsible for ruining so many peoples lives & not disclosing these “compulsive” side effect’s! I am a very angry spouse that will not rest until this is resolved!

Posted by: Sue on January 7, 2005 04:32 PM
Word about this drug is getting out. Canadian TV (CTV) ran two reports in one week about it; also, Good Morning America did a segment on it on 23 Dec. More reports are in the works, especially on ABC. Those who live in Maryland can expect to see a report from WBAL Channel 11 sometime in February. I know this because I was interviewed on camera for it. This business has been the most horrible thing that has ever happened to me. I was an ordered, self-disciplined and thrifty person. This drug turned me into a dissolute bum–until I stopped taking it. NONE OF US MUST TAKE THIS LYING DOWN! STAY MAD AND GET EVEN.

Angelo

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 7, 2005 08:35 PM
I am hurt, angry and feel very much violated. So many stories, and mine is a mirror image of them. I too am on Mirapex, but am in the process of getting off of it. I was diagnosed with PD in 1993, even though I remember having symptoms as far back as 1988. A young onset, I was first prescribed eldepryl, which I used until October, 1997, at which time I was switched to Mirapex. within months of beginning use, i fell victim to a severe compulsion to gambling. I lost a wife and family, a really good job, several friends, my whole 401 k savings plan, I owe back taxes to the IRS, have been through Chapter 7 bankruptcy and still have an overwhelming compulsion. I estimate I have lost between $160,000 and 200,000. since January, 1999. Before that , it was a sexual compulsion coupled with shopping, which according my ex-wife and a review of my financial records…….began several months after taking Mirapex.

I am in the process of trying to find a new medicine that will work for me and not continue this compulsion. If I had only known! Over the course of time since 1999 I have been told by my two doctors and my former therapist (for gambling and depression) that it was NOT the drug which was causing the problem. I have heretofore accepted the blame for my actions and have been ashamed enough to have even contemplated suicide on two occasions.

I cried my heart out when my ex-wife (of all people) told me about the Good Morning America program of 12/23 and I was able to look at some things on the internet. This is incredible! Shocked, PO’d and so many other different emotions! Before taking Mirapex I had been person without any compulsion to gambling, sex, shopping or otherwise. I want my life righted, I want to be whole again and financially back on my feet, and I want the word spread to others who are contemplating the use of, or are using Mirapex.

…ESPECIALLY my Doctor, in Katy Texas, who just yesterday 1/10/05 told his nurse to tell me that I could NOT get an appt until March 11 and that he suggested I NOT change away from Mirapex, because (according to him)……there was NO link between Mirapex and any compulsion to gambling. I am currently trying to get an appt and a new RX

The makers or Mirapex, the Doctors who prescribe it, and current and future candidates for Mirapex need a WAKE UP Call!!

Please help spread the word!!

Posted by: wayne kanuch on January 11, 2005 02:54 PM
Assuming that you ever speak to that neurologist again, you can point out that the drug’s maker, Boehringer Ingelheim, now includes a warning about compulsive gambling in the literature accompanying Mirapex. Further, the Medical Director of the National Parkinson’s Foundation has stated on their website that he believes there is linkage between dopamine agonists (Mirapex, Requip) and compulsive behavior. Be warned about Requip as well! It can pack the same side-effects as Mirapex!

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 11, 2005 05:32 PM
I am stunned. My sister who lives in Iowa found out I was getting a divorce because I had a gambling problem sent me an article on Gambling and Mirapex. I started gambling on-line approximately the same time I started taking Mirapex. I am still taking it. I am afraid to stop because I don’t want the stiffness to come back. Any suggestions. My behavior has been completely out of character.

Posted by: Earlene on January 12, 2005 01:25 AM
I, to, am a victim of Mirapex and gambling. Do you know who I can contact in Canada regarding a class action suit. I have contacted the U.S. firm but may be I should contact the Canadian group also.

Posted by: Irene on January 12, 2005 08:59 AM
I don’t want it to seem like this is the “Angelo Board,” but I want all out there to appreciate the value of raising Blue Hell on this issue. There is strength in numbers, so if you have a story about Mirapex to tell, please do so here, It helps everyone. Get mad and stay that way. Contact a local attorney and start the ball.

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 13, 2005 09:26 PM
Please don’t worry guys. Every drug has a side effect. All the medical articles indicated that the risk of OCD is only about 1.5% for those who are taking this drug. Think about this for a moment. ONLY 1.5% of thousands and thousands and thousands (probably millions) of people around the world who take it. Think about those millions who suffer from PD and feel much better with this drug (as far as improvement in their movement and functions). There are far more benefits from this drug than harm. If it was like vioxx, which killed people, then it is a different story. I don’t see any reason for all of you to freak out like this. There are million of other people on it who are thankful to it and can actually perform their daily functions properly because of it. Fact of the matter is: because we are sick, any chemical that enters out bodies are foreign substances. These chemicals will cause side effects no matter what. We need these chemicals because our bodies are not functioning properly anymore on their own. It is a matter of whether the side effects are way too dangerous or minimal (as in 1.5%).

Relax. Just lower the dose or take prozac. I can move properly because of this drug and I never suffered from any OCD because of it; and I am not the only one who did not have OCD from it. It happened in a very small %.

Posted by: PD patient on January 13, 2005 11:10 PM
People:

The general population (US population) has a 0.3% – 1.3% reported incidents of gambling. This means, amongt people who don’t suffer from PD, 1.3% do gamble and may be excessive too. So, 1.5% in a PD patient is not a huge deal that you want to wage a war on the drug like this! PD patients are not normal anymore because the lack of dopamine cause so many other problems beside movement disorders (i.e. depression).

I think what you are doing here and being so freaked out like this is a form of OCD. If you compared the numbers from the general population gambling at 1.3% and the 8 people from the 529 PD patients on this drug in this study they did, it is not thaaaaaaaat huge of a risk as you think.

Do you move better on it or not? Are your motor functions better on it or worse? I am just wondering nothing more.

Posted by: I am shocked on January 13, 2005 11:27 PM
Most of us, the “small percentage” whose lives were utterly destroyed by this drug, who lost spouses, businesses, retirement savings, kids’ college tuition, homes, etc., don’t want to see the drug banned; rather we want compensation from the drug makers, who knew as far back as 6 years ago that OCD was a potential side effect of dopamine agonists. You are conveniently ignoring the fact that a two-cent warning label would have prevented untold suffering and financial devastation. As it happened, only recently was a warning added. A “small percentage”? It was not your ox that was horribly gored. Now that a warning is included, it can be left to the individual user to weigh the benefits; but that is scant relief to the thousands who lost millions.

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 14, 2005 12:28 AM
…Sounds like the drug companies are telling their shareholders to step up on this forum and some are doing so without a thought given to scope and relativity: (The shareholder value concerns of institutional investors and mostly affluent others vs. the right to knowledge of side affects of a drug which can alter the lives of unsuspecting people) We already suffer from the various pains of PD and have placed a very large portion of our safety, comfort, well being and trust in the hands of pharmaceutical companies and our doctors who are responsible for educating themselves about the drug products before prescribing them.

Is it OK to accept that 1.5 out of every 100 people on a drug will face a compulsive disorder so strong that a previously organized, outgoing, financially secure, loving, controlled individual with no prior history of problems will be an unwitting victim?…..with no warning?…….that the negative changes taking place in the brain of this individual will be unrecognizable until it is too late and trying to identify the catalyst for the changes next to impossible? IT IS NOT OK TO ACCEPT THAT 1.5 OUT OF EVERY 100 PD PATIENTS TAKING A DOPAMINE AGONIST (MIRAPEX) WILL BECOME FINANCIALLY DEVASTATED AND HURT COUNTLESS OTHERS IN THE PROCESS!

As to scope and relativity……..we are talking about the human life here and the right to HEALTH and QUALITY of life. Think about a bigger picture and a not altogether ridiculous distant analogy……..no one would accept that it would be ok for 1.5 out of every 100 airline flights in the world to crash every day. For 1.5 out of every 100 PD patients to crash financially is not acceptable either!

Posted by: wayne kanuch on January 14, 2005 06:35 PM
I have a feeling when all is said and done, that the percentage will be more than 1.5%. I believe this problem is being under reported, as many have not figured out that Mirapex is the cause of their behaviour. In the CTV broadcast, one doctor mentioned 30 patients out of his 1200 patients had been affected. That would make it close to 3%. The figures aren’t all in yet.

Posted by: OLEANDER on January 14, 2005 07:45 PM
To begin with, it is not 1.5% that are affected by this drug induced addiction caused by dopamine agonists. It is at least double that and I believe much more than that. You tell us to relax! How dare you! Mirapex cost me 3 1/2 years of my life. Only by the grace of God and a loving family did I survive this. Some have not survived this horror. Many have lost their jobs, homes, spouses, and some have lost their lives. I have been fighting to get this information out to the public for over 2 years now. For people to under play this and tell us to relax is inexcusable. People are losing their lives or being destroyed by these drug induced addictions! WAKE UP! The smoke you smell is not from breakfast being cooked. The house is on fire! If you are pawns for Pfizer or BI, I don’t know how you can sleep at night. If you are just ignorant, well you just received a lesson in remedial ethics. It is reality check time. This is real. Dopamine agonists cause these addictions in thousands of people, and I will keep fighting for them until every last person understands this fact. All of us that have suffered through this or are still going through this nightmare have one thing to say, “WE ARE AS MAD AS HELL, AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE!” We may shake, but we are not afraid. God and the truth are our allies. If you need help, contact me at sweetviking1@msn.com. There is hope. Take Care, Jim

Posted by: Jim on January 14, 2005 09:00 PM
If there are any Canadians that have been affected with OCD as a result of Mirapex please email me at bluedahlia70@hotmail.com. Thanks.

Posted by: OLEANDER on January 14, 2005 10:42 PM
I just found out about this side effect this week and it wasn’t from a “professional”. I tried to talk to my “soon to be ex-husband” regarding my behavior being driven by my meds and he had a hardtime understanding. He beleives everyone makes their own choices. If my life is being destroyed by this I should of had the chance to way the options prior. How dare someone make the consequences statistical. It reminds me of someone saying it only cost me half. Half is relative and very important to the half on the losing end. I went to a casino yesterday and casually asked some of my acquantences if they were taking any medications and a lot have had recent heart bypass surgery. This might be bigger than we think. One thing is for sure. If your statistics are based on the “victim” coming forward an admitting they have this problem the statistics are to low. The average person is not going to tell their doctor or family they are gambling. That is the entire point. We are not making rational decisions because of an outside enfluence. Just as a note. Even knowing it might be my meds I STILL GAMBLED YESTERDAY.

Posted by: Earlene on January 15, 2005 10:53 AM
Even knowing it’s the meds will not let you stop, Earlene. Dopamine agonists are good at stimulating the appropriate receptors in the brain; trouble is, in some of us it stimulates the WRONG receptors as well. I’m convinced it’s as bad as a cocaine addiction. I could not stop until I stopped the meds, so help me. Even as ashamed as I was, pilfering my son’s lawnmowing money and sneaking into “Payday Loan” offices to pay outrageous rates of interest so I could keep gambling, I could not stop. And before the meds I was a tightwad and very careful with my money. I had never bounced a check or come anywhere NEAR max’ing out a credit card in my entire life. Boy did THAT change. Anyone who says it’s not the meds taking over our lives should have THEIR head examined. We should have been warned so we could have stopped the meds when this behavior started. The extra mobility from Mirapex was nowhere NEAR worth what this drug has put me through. Financially, I will never recover. Psychologically, no way on earth.

Posted by: turk_5 on January 15, 2005 11:24 AM
I agree with Earlene. Most of us are too ashamed of our gambling to admit there is a problem. My doctor said she didn’t think there was a problem since non of her patients had mentioned such. I reminded her that I hadn’t mentioned it either until I was desperate. When she started asking her patients about gambling she found there were more then me with the OCD. I don’t know any of the details of course.
My doctor has slowly taken me off Mirapex now and I have no desire to gamble anymore. The only problem is the PD symptoms have worstened and I feel like hell. I may try Requip but i’ve heard it is the same as Mirapex.

Posted by: Irene on January 15, 2005 12:54 PM
Yes!!! Mirapex is a dangerous drug. Nothing could take the place of my two darling grandsons – but Mirapex did. Nothing else mattered except gambling and where I was going to get the money to go to the casino. I have always been a very frugal person but gambling has turned me into a monster.
I asked my doctor about it last November and she didn’t think there was a problem because none of her patients had mentioned it, She doesn’t realize that we are all too ashamed to tell anyone. She is now asking her patients about gambling and has found there are more like me. I don’t know any of the details, of course but this is a difficult thing to get an accurate count of.
My doctor has slowly taken me off Mirapex and the desire to gamble is totally gone. There is no longer that over powering need to go to the
casino. It is amazing that a drug can have such a devastating effect.
I am MAD AS HELL that I wasn’t warned about this when it became evident there was a connection. Since discontinuing the Mirapex my PD symptoms have worstend but I will live with that where as I cannot live with further losses, physically, mentally or financially.

Posted by: Irene on January 15, 2005 01:54 PM
It helps to know I am not alone and at the same time it angers me beyond words. I went through all my Mirapex paperwork this afternoon and nothing indicates even close to a warning of behavior issues. The closest it comes is hallucinations. I’d rather see bugs on the wall than be where I am now. I have contacted my doctor and am seeking legal counsel on Tuesday. I am lery of sending to much information to an attorney from the web. If the doctor doesn’t respond quickly I am curious what other meds others are taking and how long did it take to get off of Mirapex. Besides Mirapex I am also taking Selegiline, Amantadine, Trihexyphenidyl and recently started Carbidopa.

Posted by: Earlene on January 15, 2005 08:19 PM
I think you have both touched on a key factor–namely that this situation is extremely under-reported. Also, I have corresponded with one person who was in one of the early Mirapex trials; he told me he was NOT asked about OCD at all. This may be way B&I can claim with an “honest” face that their trials showed no OCD–BECAUSE THEY NEVER ASKED!!!

Whatever you do, follow your doctor’s orders about scaling back the Mirapex. After two years of the max dose I stopped it cold turkey, without consulting my neurologist. BROTHER! It was as close to insanity as I ever wanted to get. Take it down slowly!

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 15, 2005 08:45 PM
I talked to my Doctor and pharmacist and both said they are not aware of any compulsive behaviors with use of Mirapex. The pharmacist did say she has only ten people that use it. The doctor is working with me to lower my dosage and if I want get off of it completely, but it will take awhile. He also did not put any value into what I told him. He said all medications have side effects. He said it sounded like I needed to deal with my gambling by stopping. If it is harmful, just stop. People are to quick to blame corporations. He asked me what I wanted to take? Like I am a good judge of that? He did call me back and asked me to bring my research material to my next appointment in February. He wanted to see it. He apologized for making light of my research. I started the lower dosage today. I will see how it goes, I already feel stiffer. Hope I’m just tired. I am also seeking legal advice from a local attorney. I am uncomfortable using an attorney from a WEB site. (nothing personal) I had responded to one attorney from this site and a completely different law firm sent me an e-mail. That made me be concerned on who will be using my information. I guess I am paranoid at this point. Who knows where the exploitation of Parkinsons victims might end. I don’t know whether I am concerned that the pharmacist and doctor haven’t heard of this or whether they might be lying to cover their own butts. Both are not favorable. I apologize for taking up this site with my personal issues, just needed to tell someone who might understand. My family thinks it is just an excuse so I can avoid being responsible for my actions and the professionals do not want to talk about it. So much for my support system. Oh Well, you can’t win them all! No pun intended.

Posted by: Earlene on January 18, 2005 10:30 PM
I talked to my Doctor and pharmacist and both said they are not aware of any compulsive behaviors with use of Mirapex. The pharmacist did say she has only ten people that use it. The doctor is working with me to lower my dosage and if I want get off of it completely, but it will take awhile. He also did not put any value into what I told him. He said all medications have side effects. He said it sounded like I needed to deal with my gambling by stopping. If it is harmful, just stop. People are to quick to blame corporations. He asked me what I wanted to take? Like I am a good judge of that? He did call me back and asked me to bring my research material to my next appointment in February. He wanted to see it. He apologized for making light of my research. I started the lower dosage today. I will see how it goes, I already feel stiffer. Hope I’m just tired. I am also seeking legal advice from a local attorney. I am uncomfortable using an attorney from a WEB site. (nothing personal) I had responded to one attorney from this site and a completely different law firm sent me an e-mail. That made me be concerned on who will be using my information. I guess I am paranoid at this point. Who knows where the exploitation of Parkinsons victims might end. I don’t know whether I am concerned that the pharmacist and doctor haven’t heard of this or whether they might be lying to cover their own butts. Both are not favorable. I apologize for taking up this site with my personal issues, just needed to tell someone who might understand. My family thinks it is just an excuse so I can avoid being responsible for my actions and the professionals do not want to talk about it. So much for my support system. Oh Well, you can’t win them all! No pun intended.

Posted by: Earlene on January 18, 2005 10:32 PM
Today I met with a new (for me) psychiatrist who specializes in treating PD patients. When I mentioned the gambling situation relative to Mirapex, she immediately advised me that she had “several” PD patients who started gambling after starting the drug. She further stated that although the doctors at the major medical centers are increasingly aware of the problem, the doctors in small and private practices are behind the curve. Word IS gettting out.

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 18, 2005 10:52 PM
My father suffers from parkinsons and he never gambled in his life until he went on mirapex. It was then that he would gamble all the time

Posted by: debbie on January 21, 2005 12:42 PM
I spoke to my doctor yesterday and since I last saw her in Nov., 2004 she has found 3 more of her patients caught in the Mirapex trap. People just won’t tell their doctors unless they are specifically asked about it. How do we reach these people and get more accurate data? I also feel that the doctors should be warning people immediately and not waiting until their next scheduled appointment. In the mean time thousands of dollars more are lost.
I have been off Mirapex for two months now and what a difference. I no longer have any desire to gamble. That horrible craving is gone but so has my quality of life. Without Mirapex I am stiff, have constant freezing. I shuffle when I walk. I have a stooped posture, ache all over and am severely depressed. What is the answer?

Posted by: irene on January 25, 2005 05:09 AM
The following information was added recently by the current maker of Mirapex to the literature accompanying the drug. Also, the maker has approached the Canadian government to add the same warning to Mirapex sold in that country. But of course, Boehringer still claims the drug is safe. Hogwash.

“Post-Marketing Experience: In addition to the adverse events reported during clinical
trials, the following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of
MIRAPEX Tablets. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population
of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish
a causal relationship to drug exposure. Decisions to include these reactions in labeling
are typically based on one or more of the following factors: (1) seriousness of the
reaction, (2) frequency of reporting, or (3) strength of causal connection to MIRAPEX
Tablets. Similar types of events were grouped into a smaller number of standardized
categories using the MedDRA dictionary: accidents (including fall), compulsive
behaviors (including sexual and pathological gambling), fatigue, hallucinations (all kind),
headache, hypotension (including postural hypotension), libido disorders, syncope, and
blackouts.”

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 28, 2005 10:28 AM
Interesting thread about drugs and gambling. If interested, please check out the website for our new book about the realities of gambling. Thank you!

New anti-gambling handbook helping teenagers and adults to stop gambling

Many recent articles have stated that gambling is one of the fastest growing problems in the United States. “Gambling Facts and Fictions: The Anti-Gambling Handbook to get yourself to stop gambling, quit gambling or never start gambling” is getting teenagers and adults to lose the desire for gambling when fully understanding its realities and consequences. After gaining the knowledge and following the guidance of the book, people should choose never to participate in gambling activities or be customers of any gambling business.

Please visit our website at http://www.gamblingfactsandfictions.com/ where you will find the table of contents, introduction and selected chapters. Thank you!

Posted by: Stephen Katz on January 29, 2005 10:53 PM
Would be interested in knowing how many of us who started gambling after Mirapex stopped Mirapex and then tried Requip–and did the same thing happen?
Posted by: turk_5 on January 30, 2005 03:36 PM
Thank you for the info regarding The Anti-Gambling Handbook but all I had to do was stop taking Mirapex, and my gambling problem was solved. It is now one year and three months since I stopped taking Mirapex and gambling has been the furthest thing on my mind. I am, however, very angry with the drug company for putting a drug on the market and not informing patients of these adverse side effects. I am reminded daily of my mirapex nightmare and how it changed my life for the worse.

Posted by: oleander on January 31, 2005 01:25 AM
It’s been almost one year since I last gambled, the same time since I took my last dopamine agonist. Now, even if I just watch a TV commercial for a local casino, I get physically nauseous. Although I like to watch “CSI” on CBS, I get ill whenever the action shifts to inside a Las Vegas casino. That’s how profound the change is since quitting that poison. Still, Boehringer and Pfizer will claim all is well…..

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 31, 2005 03:00 PM
I, too, have experienced the Mirapex nightmare. Dealing with PD is bad enough without having all your money stolen, your reputation ruined, and lives lost. Don’t let the drug companies and the doctors who continue to prescribe this medicine without warning get away with it. Don’t be ashamed of your actions. We have been the victims. I have had hundreds of thousands of dollars stolen from me, ruined relationships, countless misery bestowed on those I love. Excusable? Yes, it the drug company and my then physician had not known, But they did, and they chose not to utter a one sentence warning even of the POSSIILITY. That, my friends, is inexcuseable. Dealing with PD is bad enough. I have no choice with that, but I should have had a chance of making a choice with Mirapex. Send your experience with Mirapex to the FDA. Get mad as hell and don’t take it anymore!!!

Posted by: daniel on February 1, 2005 10:00 AM
Just as a word of warning…requip is as bad or worse than mirapex. I know because I am one of the victims. I say victims because that is what I truly believe I along with others who are not told about this side effect are. My world and my families have been turned upside down. I have been off of requip 1 month and have no urge to gamble. As a matter of fact I took myself off of the drug after reading about it. I had been gambling and in debt for over a year. My family lost respect and all but gave up on me. Sorry but I do not sympathize with you who say the % is low so we should leave it out there. What if that same amount of people were dying because of these drugs? Would it be less acceptable? People who have never experienced what type of devastation this brings can pass judgement but until you have been there you don’t know. By the way when I did get in touch with my doctor, he knew. The answer for not telling was,”they didn’t want to put any subconscious suggestions”. Yeah , right. Please wake up and see every day there are more people finding this site. Even you who say you don’t have the gambling problem, why did you look it up on the internet? Pat

Posted by: pat on February 1, 2005 02:49 PM
Just as a word of warning…requip is as bad or worse than mirapex. I know because I am one of the victims. I say victims because that is what I truly believe I along with others who are not told about this side effect are. My world and my families have been turned upside down. I have been off of requip 1 month and have no urge to gamble. As a matter of fact I took myself off of the drug after reading about it. I had been gambling and in debt for over a year. My family lost respect and all but gave up on me. Sorry but I do not sympathize with you who say the % is low so we should leave it out there. What if that same amount of people were dying because of these drugs? Would it be less acceptable? People who have never experienced what type of devastation this brings can pass judgement but until you have been there you don’t know. By the way when I did get in touch with my doctor, he knew. The answer for not telling was,”they didn’t want to put any subconscious suggestions”. Yeah , right. Please wake up and see every day there are more people finding this site. Even you who say you don’t have the gambling problem, why did you look it up on the internet? Pat

Posted by: pat on February 1, 2005 02:50 PM
I found this letter on the NPF website to Dr. Lieberman particularly wrenching……. Lieberman’s reply should also be noted. This is utter madness…..

Sun, 23 Jan 2005 04:16:46 EST

Author: “Ask The Doctor” askthedoctor@forum.parkinson.org

Subject: Gambling

Body: “Its 2:00am Phoenix time I feel so alone. The gambling must stop, Im losing
my family, I cant quit, could it be the mirapex? Im 46 and without resolve. I
feel like I am falling. Is God punishing me for past sins? Ive got to do
something about this.Im losing control. You trained an excllent Neurologist in Dr.
Walker at Barrows. Sorry to bother you”

Posted by: angelo21122 on February 2, 2005 10:10 AM
I found this letter on the NPF website to Dr. Lieberman particularly wrenching……. Lieberman’s reply should also be noted. This is utter madness…..

Sun, 23 Jan 2005 04:16:46 EST

Author: “Ask The Doctor” askthedoctor@forum.parkinson.org

Subject: Gambling

Body: “Its 2:00am Phoenix time I feel so alone. The gambling must stop, Im losing
my family, I cant quit, could it be the mirapex? Im 46 and without resolve. I
feel like I am falling. Is God punishing me for past sins? Ive got to do
something about this.Im losing control. You trained an excllent Neurologist in Dr.
Walker at Barrows. Sorry to bother you”

Posted by: angelo21122 on February 2, 2005 10:11 AM
Lieberman’s response did not copy for me; but he advised the author of the above letter to stop the use of any dopamine agonists…..This is damning….

Posted by: angelo21122 on February 2, 2005 10:21 AM
I am glad I got through this with at least most of my mental marbles. I guess some are not as lucky. This is the most traumatic business I have ever experienced.

Turk

Posted by: turk_5 on February 5, 2005 11:29 PM
I was diagnosed with PD in July2002and prescribed pramipexole after 8 weeks being on 1.5 mgs tds.Sinemet was added in January 2003.Ifelt OK.Afew months later I was given a horseracing tip by a friend and went into a local betting office.The tip was good and over the next month or so I was given further tips.Some won Some didn’t.It didn’t matter it was a bit of harmless fun. I’d play machine roulette to pass the time.The time passed fast-15 months or so later Iwas over £100,000 in debt and had spent £120,000 cash an inheritence from both my parents who had died during this period.Oh and there was another couple of tens of thousands that I’d got from the cashed endowments(unknown to my wife) and her Premium Bonds.I played that machine FOR FUN almost all day,every day. Well I was bound to win it back wasn’t I? After all I’d won £20,000 in a day TWICE and plenty of £3-£7000′s.Correct that I hadn’t actually taken the money out of the Betting Shop and in to my bank BUT I’d be more sensible NEXT TIME I WON IT.Needless to say I’m now already divorced(and I don’t blame her)/ Lost my house,had to give up my job because of PD(and it got in the way of gambling).All I’ve got is a small pension which is nearly all taken by trying to pay off Banking Institutions.I’m making reparation to a number of people who I lied to and USED to get money,one of whom is my lovely ex wife who is a great help and support to me.It was she that found the connection between Pramipexole and gambling and took me by the scruff of the neck and rang the Parkinsons Nurse,the G.P. and the Specialist(I was too busy gambling to concern myself with this nonsence).But guess who was right.! Within a week or so of coming off the drug all desire to gamble stopped.It may sound like a fairy tale to some but to anyone who has experienced it,they will totally relate to it.Just like I can absolutely feel with and for the people who state their experiences on this site.I’ve been there with them.So what do I do now?Well I live rent free with my sister and her husband.I am pathetically trying to pay back the Institutions who really don’t want to know my sob stories.I am still great friends with those people I owe money to.Can’t get much help financially from anywhere because pension is just too much(isn’t life grand).Thought I had a Solicitor to take on my battle but I earn just a little too much (PENSION AGAIN!!) to get legal aid.(This Pension has got to go an awful long way!)And anyway I can’t get legal aid to take on a Drug Manufacturer unless it’s a Class Action.So what do I do -Nothing?Like Hell.Can someone out there give me a word or perhapps a few pages of advice——Please. Thanks.JOHN G.

Posted by: John Gravell on February 7, 2005 01:45 PM
I was diagnosed with PD in July2002and prescribed pramipexole after 8 weeks being on 1.5 mgs tds.Sinemet was added in January 2003.Ifelt OK.Afew months later I was given a horseracing tip by a friend and went into a local betting office.The tip was good and over the next month or so I was given further tips.Some won Some didn’t.It didn’t matter it was a bit of harmless fun. I’d play machine roulette to pass the time.The time passed fast-15 months or so later Iwas over £100,000 in debt and had spent £120,000 cash an inheritence from both my parents who had died during this period.Oh and there was another couple of tens of thousands that I’d got from the cashed endowments(unknown to my wife) and her Premium Bonds.I played that machine FOR FUN almost all day,every day. Well I was bound to win it back wasn’t I? After all I’d won £20,000 in a day TWICE and plenty of £3-£7000′s.Correct that I hadn’t actually taken the money out of the Betting Shop and in to my bank BUT I’d be more sensible NEXT TIME I WON IT.Needless to say I’m now already divorced(and I don’t blame her)/ Lost my house,had to give up my job because of PD(and it got in the way of gambling).All I’ve got is a small pension which is nearly all taken by trying to pay off Banking Institutions.I’m making reparation to a number of people who I lied to and USED to get money,one of whom is my lovely ex wife who is a great help and support to me.It was she that found the connection between Pramipexole and gambling and took me by the scruff of the neck and rang the Parkinsons Nurse,the G.P. and the Specialist(I was too busy gambling to concern myself with this nonsence).But guess who was right.! Within a week or so of coming off the drug all desire to gamble stopped.It may sound like a fairy tale to some but to anyone who has experienced it,they will totally relate to it.Just like I can absolutely feel with and for the people who state their experiences on this site.I’ve been there with them.So what do I do now?Well I live rent free with my sister and her husband.I am pathetically trying to pay back the Institutions who really don’t want to know my sob stories.I am still great friends with those people I owe money to.Can’t get much help financially from anywhere because pension is just too much(isn’t life grand).Thought I had a Solicitor to take on my battle but I earn just a little too much (PENSION AGAIN!!) to get legal aid.(This Pension has got to go an awful long way!)And anyway I can’t get legal aid to take on a Drug Manufacturer unless it’s a Class Action.So what do I do -Nothing?Like Hell.Can someone out there give me a word or perhapps a few pages of advice——Please. Thanks.JOHN G.

Posted by: John Gravell on February 7, 2005 01:45 PM
I was diagnosed with PD in July2002and prescribed pramipexole after 8 weeks being on 1.5 mgs tds.Sinemet was added in January 2003.Ifelt OK.Afew months later I was given a horseracing tip by a friend and went into a local betting office.The tip was good and over the next month or so I was given further tips.Some won Some didn’t.It didn’t matter it was a bit of harmless fun. I’d play machine roulette to pass the time.The time passed fast-15 months or so later Iwas over £100,000 in debt and had spent £120,000 cash an inheritence from both my parents who had died during this period.Oh and there was another couple of tens of thousands that I’d got from the cashed endowments(unknown to my wife) and her Premium Bonds.I played that machine FOR FUN almost all day,every day. Well I was bound to win it back wasn’t I? After all I’d won £20,000 in a day TWICE and plenty of £3-£7000′s.Correct that I hadn’t actually taken the money out of the Betting Shop and in to my bank BUT I’d be more sensible NEXT TIME I WON IT.Needless to say I’m now already divorced(and I don’t blame her)/ Lost my house,had to give up my job because of PD(and it got in the way of gambling).All I’ve got is a small pension which is nearly all taken by trying to pay off Banking Institutions.I’m making reparation to a number of people who I lied to and USED to get money,one of whom is my lovely ex wife who is a great help and support to me.It was she that found the connection between Pramipexole and gambling and took me by the scruff of the neck and rang the Parkinsons Nurse,the G.P. and the Specialist(I was too busy gambling to concern myself with this nonsence).But guess who was right.! Within a week or so of coming off the drug all desire to gamble stopped.It may sound like a fairy tale to some but to anyone who has experienced it,they will totally relate to it.Just like I can absolutely feel with and for the people who state their experiences on this site.I’ve been there with them.So what do I do now?Well I live rent free with my sister and her husband.I am pathetically trying to pay back the Institutions who really don’t want to know my sob stories.I am still great friends with those people I owe money to.Can’t get much help financially from anywhere because pension is just too much(isn’t life grand).Thought I had a Solicitor to take on my battle but I earn just a little too much (PENSION AGAIN!!) to get legal aid.(This Pension has got to go an awful long way!)And anyway I can’t get legal aid to take on a Drug Manufacturer unless it’s a Class Action.So what do I do -Nothing?Like Hell.Can someone out there give me a word or perhapps a few pages of advice——Please. Thanks.JOHN G.

Posted by: John Gravell on February 7, 2005 01:45 PM
Mr. Gravell:
Welcome to our merry crew! I wish I had all the answers you crave but I don’t. Sounds like you will have to be the rabble rouser to get this rolling on your side of the pond.

– Write your local MP and demand government hearings into the matter. Quote all the findings that have been made in the US and Canada about Mirapex; don’t forget that in the US a warning about obsessive gambling has been added to the literature accompanying the drug.

– Write to the BBC and other networks, asking they do investigational reports on this matter; don’t foget to tell them that US and Canadian TV have already done likewise, and more is coming.

– Have your specialist report this matter to the government body as appropriate in such situations.

– Approach Ms. Azizi at http://www.azizilaw.com and see whether she will take up your case in the US.

Good Luck

Angelo

Posted by: angelo21122 on February 7, 2005 02:52 PM
Those living in Maryland and Washington DC, as well as Northern Virginia and Southern Pennsylvania can see an interview with a person who became addicted to gambling while on Mirapex. It will be aired on the Channel 11, WBAL (Baltimore) nightly news sometime between 11:00-11:30 PM EST, tomorrow, 10 Feb. Word is getting out!

Posted by: angelo21122 on February 9, 2005 03:10 PM
Also, Canadian health authorities have been approached by Boehringer Ingelheim to have a warning included about gambling for the Mirapex sold in that country.

Posted by: turk_5 on February 9, 2005 03:46 PM
My husband is 45 years old and was diagnosed with PD 6 1/2 years ago. He was put on Permax immediately after his diagnosis, then was switched to Mirapex a couple of years later. Unbeknownst to me until a little over a year ago, he had developed a severe gambling addiction shortly after being diagnosed. He had kept this addiction a secret from me for over 5 years, and in that time, he managed to rack up nearly $100,000 in credit card debt, mortgaged our home to the hilt, which we inevitably had to foreclose on 6 months ago in addition to filing for bankruptcy. He has done just about everything possible to feed his habit…lying, cheating, borrowing, even stealing from my family. The hurt and betrayal over what he’s done has been devestating, and our marriage is in serious trouble. We’ve lost everything of value, including his business. For the past year, he’s been struggling with the feeling of being a total failure as a husband and father because of what his addiction has caused. He’s never had an addiction in his life, and once he was put on Permax and Mirapex, he gambled his (our) life away. Then right before Christmas, a friend of ours called to inform us of the story that was aired on Good Morning America about the relationship of Mirapex and compulsive disorders (in particular…gambling.) We were shocked! The thought that his addiction might be chemically driven never occured to us! Since that time, we’ve done a lot of research and are finding out, just as all of you are, about the link between dopamine agonists and compulsive gambling. As I read all of your stories, I’m convinced that this is MUCH more than a sheer coincidence! We have spoken to his neurologist, about this and she confirmed there is increasing evidence supporting this theory. She cut his Mirapex dose in half to see if that would help his compulsion, however, his body cannot physically withstand being on half the dose, let alone cutting it out altogether. He’s since gone back to his full dose so he’ll physically feel better. He’s currently in counseling and attends Gambler’s Anonymous meeting every single day. He’s been “clean” for 22 days now, but I keep waiting for the next shoe to drop when he feels out of control and gambles again. Unfortunately because the Mirapex is the one drug that seems to benefit him most physically, we’re afraid that taking him off of it completely is not an option for us. Other than Permax and Requip, does anybody else have any suggestions for other meds that may help him in a similar fashion. WE’RE DESPERATE!! While we’re somewhat relieved to know that his addiction is perhaps the product of medication he’s taking, it’s still very difficult to know that he’s got this “demon” that has so much control over his life. If he doesn’t stop gambling, I’m afraid our marriage will not survive.

Posted by: lisa on February 10, 2005 05:11 PM
Ilsa:
As you are aware, I’ve “been there, done that.” I lied, cheated, stole, blew away a substantial chunk of our home’s equity, ran all my credit cards up to the max, etc. DON’T BLAME YOUR HUSBAND! This chemically-induced obsession is too powerful for words. It’s every bit as bad as heroin or cocaine. BLAME THE COMPANIES! Get and stay mad at THEM.
Find a local attorney, write to your local media. You and your family have been hurt and deserve restitution.

Posted by: angelo21122 on February 10, 2005 05:29 PM
You might want to try Requip. Some people who switched managed to stay off gambling, but then there were others who went back to it as heavily as ever. Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

Posted by: turk_5 on February 10, 2005 05:46 PM
I’ve had Parkinson’s for ten years , was on Requip for five of them . I’d never been much of a gambler until
Requip had its way with my brain ! I became suddenly and totally addicted to slot machines in 2002 and proceeded to destroy my finances and my personal life . Only with the publication of Dr.Stacy’s study of dopamine agonists and their ability to induce addicitive behavior did I see what was going on .
i stopped Requip cold and no longer had the casino urge ,
but now ….. the financial repercussions will last the rest of my life .
Posted by: kreide on February 10, 2005 07:26 PM
Requip was the ticket to an overwhelming gambling
problem I experienced in 2002-2003 . I’d never gambled
but a few bucks here and there ( there are 3 Indian casinos
within an hour’s drive from my home) , but once I’d been
ramped up to high doses of Requip ….. well , guess what
happened ? I became a lying , irresponsible slot machine
addict .
To make a long and very sad story short , I’m now financially depleted and my wife is divorcing me
(she really doesn’t believe meds could have done
THAT to someone !) . Oh ,I got off Requip immediately when dopamine agonists were first implicated in cases just like mine , but it was much too late .
Thank goodness the rest of my family didn’t give up
on me , they’ve always been my strength and support .

Posted by: kreide on February 12, 2005 08:23 PM
I recently received some blather from the FDA after I raised hell with my local congresswoman about Mirapex. Basically what FDA told me is that “As there is no scientific evidence linking pramipexole (Mirapex) to compulsive behavior” there isn’t diddle that FDA can do about the situation. They did send me an “adverse reaction” report to fill in and send back, but as I did one over a year ago I trashed it. This is the same line from Boehringer. It’s great to see industry and the government working so well together, isn’t it?

Posted by: angelo21122 on February 12, 2005 10:35 PM
To see how word is spreading, go to Yahoo News and search on Mirapex to see the various TV stations across the country that have reported on the situation.

Posted by: angelo21122 on February 13, 2005 10:32 AM
Angelo….the FDA and B.I. are drawing at straws. They want scientific proof?

B.S. is putting it mildly. Why put the warning on the writeup now…….because they are protecting themselves from FUTURE lawsuits. If their defense is “we didn’t know”……my response is YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN! Ever heard of the “thin skull theory”? Very interesting theory which sums up my response.

The way these agonists work is to put receptors in our brains at “full alert”. The unfortunate things is that the pleasure/reward sensors are on high alert as well….and that’s why some of us experienced the compulsions. I have a statement for the FDA. I want them to prove to ME why I DID NOT gamble compulsively before the Mirapex and STOPPED after the Mirapex.

If it looks like a duck and it walks like a duck……it must be a duck. I may be sick but logic still dictates (now that I am not under the influence of that mind altering drug and can actually apply good judgement).

I’ll tell you one thing. I am now more resolved to pursue this as a result of that intelligence insulting statement.

Posted by: oleander on February 14, 2005 03:13 AM
I’ve raised hell with my congressional rep, both US senators, and with every TV network/show I can think of. I have written, emailed, called, and made a horrendous pain-in-the—ss out of myself with everyone who might possibly be able to help. I’ve appeared on television and bared my soul about the problems caused by this poison to the embarassment of my family and friends, though many did congratulate me for my “courage” (Hah! Try “desperation.”) Nothing new or good is going to happen unless and until more people take up the cudgel and start doing the same. I’m tired.

Posted by: angelo21122 on February 18, 2005 10:17 AM
i was diagnosed with pd in 1999. i started having the restless legs syndrome in march 2001
this is when my dr. started me on mirapex.within
a couple of weeks these symtons went away. what a relief??? wrong this is when i started doing anything i could to gamble. started with local bar poker machines.losing probably $200.00 to $300.00 per day!then i started driving at the drop of a hat 75 miles to a casino in wheeling,w.va. where i proceeded to max. out 10 credit cards to the tune of $130,000.00 and ran up our home equity loan to $75,000.00 before i was caught by my wife . also for the last 9 to 10 months i took mirapex i had several fainting spells,unbelievable headaches and depression.
finally i told my dr. about my gambling problem thinking this was the cause for my symtons. she immediately informed of the website about mirapex and gambling. took me off mirapex . started me on requip which most of the time makes me very nauseous. but my gamling urges have just about completely went away.
meanwhile i joined the class action lawsuit stated in calif.lawfirm azzissi. i go to gamblers ann. once aweek but have never mentioned mirapex to them because they probably wouldn.t believe it caused the problem. my daughter is a pharmacist and is convinced this gambling problem was induced by
something other than a compulsive urge.
i sure hope they at least take the drug off the market so others don`t have their lives ruined because the drug lords need to get richer at our expense!! better days are ahead believe me i have been off mirapex for 6 months now and feel 100% better although i can`t move as good as i could before at least i have a dollar in my pocket. thank you
Posted by: alan k. on February 18, 2005 11:04 PM
I certainly hope all goes well for you–but please be careful with Requip. It can, in time, be as bad as Mirapex.

Posted by: turk_5 on February 18, 2005 11:20 PM
My story is so similar to many here….I’m 51, have always considered myself “responsible”..never even knew about gambling, much less was interested in it. Started permax in 1996, but it wasn’t until 5 years later, taking 40 times the initial dose combined with a “fun” weekend meeting my sister in Las Vegas that my addiction started. Even though the casino was not a major part of our weekend (shows, people watching, eating, etc wre the highlights), when I got home I could not get the slot machines out of my head. Three and a half years of hell followed…lying, stealing, doing every thing I could to gamble. Many confessions to my husband, then relapeses. He couldn’t believe I was doing these things (Icouldn’t either). I emptied a retirement account, ran up credit cards to their max and got new ones, emptied a savings account, “borrowed” money from everyone I could think of….Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars poured down the drain; contemplated suicide several times, the last time with a serious plan and ended up admitting myself to the psych ward of the local hospital. I have been discovering bits and pieces of this dopamine agonist story over the last year and a half or so, alternating between feeling like I was copping out to “blame the drug” and thinking that there was no other explanation for my situation. Have never felt such despair as this has caused. I’m still struggling to find an alternataive to permax (which I take for restless legs syndrome. Have tried 3 so far, waiting for doctor ok to try fourth. In the meantime, I have reduced my dosage to a quarter of what I had been taking and just dealing with the discomfort and restlessness, but I have to sleep. Trying to find out what the drug companies know and when they knew it. After 4 letters to Eli Lilly, I finally got someone to respond to me and has promised to give me records they have; also have asked FDA for their information, via FOIA request. I have read on this site reference to a warning label being put on Mirapex, but the FDA says they know nothing about it, and am waiting to hear back from Health Canada, as there is a suggestion it might be Canada that is putting warning label on. Anyone know for sure? Anyone gotten any “hard” information from the FDA or drug companies? Anyone involved in California class action and where does that stand? I am in Chicago area. Would be eager to hear from others in similar situtation. Write me at my email address barbara@mail2mom.com or post here (though since I have gamblock on my computers I can’t always access this page. ) Angelo, who are you? Sounds like you have been very involved in this issue. Barbara

Posted by: Barbara on February 19, 2005 01:06 PM
My story is similar to so many here.. I am 51, and I have been taking permax for restless leg syndrome for almost 9 years. I had no knowledge of or interest in gambling of any sort. In fact, around the time I started taking permax, some friends invited my husband and me to a riverboat casino in Indiana for dinner…for a novel experience. We had dinner and then went into the casino….and I couldn’t wait to get out. The cigarette smoke, the noise and lights, the sad almost hypnotized looking people….terrible. After sticking it out for about half an hour, my husband and I went to the top of the boat to wait in the fresh air for our friends to finish. Couldn’t wait to get out of there, get home and shower. Fast forward about 5 years. Nothing related to gambling happened for those 5 years. Then my sister asked me to meet her for a “fun” girls only weekend in Las Vegas. I went and we had a blast. Even though the casino visiting was not the major part of our visit (shows, eating , people watching and shopping were much more fun), when I got home, I could not get the slot machines out of my head. And the difference? I was taking 40 times the initial dose of Permax at the time. And that was the start of a 3/-1/2 year descent into the hell of compulsive gambling. Of course, I didn’t realize the Permax connection at the time. I thought I was a terrible, weak,, immoral person. I lied, stole, sneaked around, manipulated people….everything I could to gamble. I cleaned out a retirement account, a savings account, ran up my credit cards to the limit and then got more and did the same thing, “borrowed” money from anyone I could think of, and lied and lied to my very loving husband. I confessed and swore I would never do this again (and believed it myself), then relapsed, over and over. I lost hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars, considered suicide several times, the last time had a serious plan to kill myself and ended up in the psychiatric ward of our local hospital for 9 days. I’ve been trying to put the pieces together about dopamine and addictions, and have been battling the feeling that I’m copping out to “blame the medicine” and believing that this is the only explanation that fits. But it sounds almost like science fiction. But based on all I’ve read, on postings like this and in the medical and scientific literature that is out there, I know this would never have happened to me if I had not been taking this drug.. I’m trying desperately to get off permax, and have tried 3 different drugs (not dopamine agonists) but none of them work for me. Am waiting for my doctors to ok a fourth medicine, which would be a narcotic, so they’re being very careful. In the meantime, I’ve reduced my dose to ¼ of what I had been taking, and just deal with the discomfort during the day. But I have to sleep, so I take the bare minimum at night. I’ve been trying to tell my story to the drug company, and to find out what they knew and when. After four letters to Eli Lilly, I finally got a response that said they would send me me whatever information they had….so I’m eager to see that. Also send a FOIA request to the FDA, waiting for that response. Did a Medwatch adverse events memo last fall. Went nowhere with that. I’m wondering if anyone else has any “hard” evidence or information from the drug companies or FDA? Anyone active in the California class action? What is happening with that? And I’ve seen references to a warning label to be put on Mirapex, but the FDA says it doesn’t know anything about it. Maybe it’s in Canada? I’ve asked Health Canada about it, but no reply yet. And what about this “proof” that Mirapex makers knew of the problem? What is that all about? Angelo, who are you and what is your story? You sound like you have become very involved in this issue. Have you made any progress? I’m in the Chicago area. Would be very eager to hear from others who have had this same problem. You can write me at Barbara@mail2mom.com or post here, although because I have gamblock on my computer I can’t always access this site. I encourage everyone to spread the word. Help others avoid the devastation and heartbreak we have suffered. Barbara

Posted by: Barbara on February 19, 2005 04:21 PM
Recently Boehringer added a warning about compulsive gambling to the insert accompanying Mirapex. They buried it way in the back under “After Market Adverse Effects”. Go to http://www.mirapex.com and click on Product Information at the top. I assume this action was meant to cover their fat corporate tooshie against future actions. Don’t expect anything from FDA except malfeasance and ineptitude.

Posted by: angelo21122 on February 19, 2005 07:53 PM
I just now checked http://www.mirapex.com and the Product Information tab at the top. For some reason “The Page Is Unavailable” at the moment. Hmmmmm. My attorneys found primarily European research from 4-5 years ago plainly linking dopamine agonists to compulsive behavior, especially gambling. I found British reporting (no longer on the Web–Hmmmm) from 2002 implicating dop-agonists the same way. There was ample evidence that this family of drugs could induce such behavior. And if there is no proof why did Boehringer feel compelled to add the After Market warning to the insert????

Posted by: angelo21122 on February 19, 2005 09:03 PM
I just now checked http://www.mirapex.com and the Product Information tab at the top. For some reason “The Page Is Unavailable” at the moment. Hmmmmm. My attorneys found primarily European research from 4-5 years ago plainly linking dopamine agonists to compulsive behavior, especially gambling. I found British reporting (no longer on the Web–Hmmmm) from 2002 implicating dop-agonists the same way. There was ample evidence that this family of drugs could induce such behavior. And if there is no proof why did Boehringer feel compelled to add the After Market warning to the insert????

Posted by: angelo21122 on February 19, 2005 09:04 PM
test entry

Posted by: test on February 19, 2005 09:06 PM
The Product Information page is back now. See if you can find the reference to gambling:

Post-Marketing Experience: In addition to the adverse events reported during clinical
trials, the following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of
MIRAPEX Tablets. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population
of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish
a causal relationship to drug exposure. Decisions to include these reactions in labeling
are typically based on one or more of the following factors: (1) seriousness of the
reaction, (2) frequency of reporting, or (3) strength of causal connection to MIRAPEX
Tablets. Similar types of events were grouped into a smaller number of standardized
categories using the MedDRA dictionary: accidents (including fall), compulsive
behaviors (including sexual and pathological gambling), fatigue, hallucinations (all kind),
headache, hypotension (including postural hypotension), libido disorders, syncope, and
blackouts.

Posted by: angelo21122 on February 20, 2005 07:59 AM
Fascinating! Do you know why they put this “warning” on ? and when?

Posted by: Barbara on February 20, 2005 10:12 AM
I don’t know why it appeared; I think it popped up about two months ago. Obviously, FDA is once again behind the curve. The notice may serve as a “line in the sand” to prevent future lawsuits, I really don’t know….

Posted by: angelo21122 on February 20, 2005 10:38 AM
Cut and paste this link into your browser; there is an imbedded video link as well.

http://www.wftv.com/health/4189732/detail.html?rss=orlc&psp=health

Posted by: angelo21122 on March 3, 2005 01:51 PM
Cut and paste this link into your browser; there is an imbedded video link as well.

http://www.wftv.com/health/4189732/detail.html?rss=orlc&psp=health

Posted by: angelo21122 on March 3, 2005 01:52 PM
test

Posted by: test on March 3, 2005 03:16 PM
test

Posted by: test on March 4, 2005 09:42 AM
test

Posted by: test on March 4, 2005 09:43 AM
test

Posted by: test on March 4, 2005 03:13 PM
Well I think there’s a Canadian Law Firm that is willing to start a Canadian Class Action. If any Canadians need any info, just email me and I will forward you the information.

Posted by: oleander on March 9, 2005 11:19 PM
Has any one heard of any sex side effects to Mirapex and is anyone doing any thing to help those individuals?

Posted by: Kay on March 10, 2005 10:05 PM
I have seen and heard numerous instances of Mirapex weakening inhibitions and causing a lot of drug-induced infidelity, I have not heard about this being used as a basis for legal action, probably as those afflicted don’t want to inflict even more harm and embarassment upon spouses. I have heard of some divorces.

Posted by: angelo21122 on March 10, 2005 11:47 PM
I almost forgot–compulsive sexual activity was included recently in the “After Market” warning from Boehringer. See my posting above for 20 Feb. It’s buried near the bottom.

Posted by: angelo21122 on March 11, 2005 10:10 AM
test

Posted by: test on March 12, 2005 11:20 PM
Are there people out there who have had the sexual behaviors proven as to the Mirapex being the cause or is gambling the only one proven?
Do those with sexual behaviors feel like they are the only ones etc. and it is very embarrassing to say anything about?

Posted by: Kay on March 14, 2005 08:04 AM
This neurologist is planning a study this summer on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Mirapex, and Parkinson’s. Those proceeding with legal action should make their attorneys aware of it:

Hubert H. Fernandez, MD
Co-Director, Movement Disorders Center
Director, Clinical Trials for Movement Disorders
Co-Director, Residency Training Program
Dept. of Neurology, Univ. of Florida
McKnight Brain Institute
100 S. Newell Drive, Rm L3-100
PO Box 100236
Gainesville, FL 32610-0236

Posted by: angelo21122 on March 21, 2005 04:12 PM
I would like to reach out to anyone who has a gambling problem, whether it be do to a certain drug used, or just emotional issues causing you or someone you know to continue gambling. It is an emotiona addictive illness/disease, and there is help out there to stop gambling and recover, no matter what your reasons are for gambling.. there is help. Please come check out our support group and join us.. if you want to stop gambling from ruining your life.. The link I have posted will bring you to the support group’s homepage. We help each other thru our own experiences from gambling and thru what we have learn that works in our own recoveries.. Please take a minute, it could save your life.. Hugs, Audrey

Posted by: Audrey on April 2, 2005 11:31 PM
To locate the suppor group in the above message click on my name or this link provided:

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/CompulsiveGamblingCenterOnRecoveryEveryday/

Thank You

Posted by: Audrey on April 2, 2005 11:33 PM
If you feel like bringing back really bad memories, catch the “Intervention” series on the A&E channel. I watched the segment last night about a young guy with a “naturally occurring” heavy gambling addiction– it brought tears to my eyes. All of it came back, the begging, thieving, lying, and unkept promises; all the behavior that made us the exact opposite of how we had planned to spend our lives. It all too well reminded me of why we are in this lawsuit–and made me mad as hell. Let’s not forget….

Posted by: angelo21122 on April 6, 2005 11:10 AM
test

Posted by: test on April 7, 2005 11:06 PM
Does anyone know the name of the law firm that is looking into a class action suit against Mirapex in Canada. I had his name but misplaced it.
Thank you
Irene

Posted by: Irene on April 13, 2005 03:21 PM
Does anyone know the name of the law firm that is looking into a class action suit against Mirapex in Canada. I had his name but misplaced it.
Thank you
Irene

Posted by: Irene on April 13, 2005 03:21 PM
The law firm is Thomson-Rogers; it should be easy to get their address off the web.

Posted by: angelo21122 on April 13, 2005 05:34 PM
I see in the news that FDA has found the time and resources to warn Pfizer that their ads for erectile dysfunction medication are misleading. How wonderful. Such a shame that FDA cannot do likewise to address a drug that is responsible for untold personal ruin and despair. But I understand there are priorities…. That which affects the sex organs must take a back seat to that which affects the brain. It’s the American way.

Posted by: angelo21122 on April 17, 2005 12:24 AM
I see in the news that FDA has found the time and resources to warn Pfizer that their ads for erectile dysfunction medication are misleading. How wonderful. Such a shame that FDA cannot do likewise to address a drug that is responsible for untold personal ruin and despair. But I understand there are priorities…. That which affects the sex organs must take a back seat to that which affects the brain. It’s the American way.

Posted by: angelo21122 on April 17, 2005 12:25 AM
test

Posted by: angelo21122 on April 17, 2005 12:25 AM
My error; the Pfizer drug in question is for allergies, and not sexual mysfunction. Still, it’s sad that FDA can find the resources to warn people about adverts for a drug addressing nasal congestion, but remains silent about another that has ruined many, many lives.

Posted by: angelo21122 on April 17, 2005 11:00 AM
test have gamblock

Posted by: robert on April 27, 2005 01:43 AM
test have gamblock

Posted by: robert on April 27, 2005 01:43 AM
test have gamblock

Posted by: robert on April 27, 2005 01:43 AM
I have gamblock which blocks any websites and words for this addiction.This had to be installed on both computers to stop me. It suddenly occured to me that I am out of control. A weekend trip to Canada and 4 days in the Casin–. I take 8 mg of requip. It started with excessive day trading and than I found the internet BJ 21 obsessed all day long. I even went to AC last week twice and it is a 2 1/2 hour drive. Tonight I was tryng to uninstall the gamblock software.. desperate despite losing 13K in 6 weeks! I lie to my spouse and this fasination with playing 21 is all consuming. WHAT IS THE ANSWER TO REPLACE REQUIP?I am to early for l dopa. very little symptoms after 5 years Im afraid of the symptoms returning if I stop the drug and I am in between a rock and a hard place. Gamblers Anonymous did not stop me. I exhausted every dime available to me this weekend 6K and bet in large wagers until the money was gone. Our friends were appalled at my behavior and lack of control I also want to get even. The drug has taken over and my neuro must be told asap. Anyone replace a dopamine agonist with another drugs other than sinemet. I repect your replys.
BTW Gambock works but it also block most websites for example once I submit this post it will shut down the comuter.

Posted by: robert on April 27, 2005 02:02 AM
Robert:

I am not aware of anything else to take (besides Sinemet) that will help without the gambling urges being restarted. I have been on both Mirapex and Requip, and they were both disastrous. I gambled every bit as obsessively as you do.

All I can suggest is to get off Requip under medical supervision. It’s the only way I know of.

You can sign up for the lawsuit at http://www.azizilaw.com .

All the Best
Posted by: angelo21122 on April 27, 2005 08:44 AM
I understand there is a class action suit being filed in Canada also. Which am I best to sign up with? I live in Canada and have been registered with the law firm in California. Please advise.

Posted by: Gary on May 3, 2005 10:23 AM
I understand there is a class action suit being filed in Canada also. Which am I best to sign up with? I live in Canada and have been registered with the law firm in California. Please advise.

Posted by: Gary on May 3, 2005 10:24 AM
You had best talk to a tax accountant; there could be significant tax implications one way or another if you are awarded damages.

Posted by: angelo21122 on May 3, 2005 06:18 PM
Gary,

Your best bet is to sign up with the one in Canada. The firm is Thomson Rogers. If you need any more info email me. Good Luck!

Posted by: oleander on May 3, 2005 10:34 PM
For your information:

http://toronto.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=to-parkinson20050509

Posted by: oleander on May 9, 2005 05:07 PM
For anyone interested……..

http://toronto.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=to-parkinson20050509

Posted by: oleander on May 9, 2005 05:09 PM
Laissez les bontemps rouler!!!!

Posted by: angelo21122 on May 9, 2005 05:11 PM
I took Mirapex for approx. 5 mos. I also did the gambling to excessive. I could not stop. I took it for Fibromyalgia. I have ran up my credit cards to the max..I lied to my family etc. Totally out of my character….Where to I go from here? Where do I join the law suit brigade? I do not even have an income at this present time as I have not received my SSI yet….I am beside myself. Please e-mail me with help. cinbad25@msn.com

Posted by: Cindy LaVoy on May 12, 2005 12:22 PM
Does anyone know if there is a law firm taking claims on requip? I e-mailed the california firm but it does not take on requip patients, or at least I received no response. There’s got to be a link! There’s to many of us with the similar complaints.

Posted by: george on May 12, 2005 04:58 PM
Cindy,

I’m not sure how that would go down as I don’t think Mirapex has been approved for Fibromyalgia but I did read that many Fibromyalgia patients are taking the drug. If you live in the U.S. contact Azizi Law, or if you live in Canada contact Thomson Rogers. They would be better able to answer your questions.

Posted by: oleander on May 12, 2005 10:42 PM
I am sure that after resolution of the Mirapex cases, lawfirms will come out of the woodwork to dig into Requip lawsuits, especially now that such a prestigious firm as Thomson Rogers is involved in the matter of dopamine agonists and obsessive gambling. It will happen.

Posted by: angelo21122 on May 15, 2005 12:32 AM
ANYONE and EVERYONE who wants to get behind this thing and push should write to NBC Dateline at the email address below and demand that they run the NBC Baltimore/WBAL report of Feb 2005 on Mirapex and gambling. It’s our only chance of getting this story on the national hookup and increasing pressure on the drug companies.

Remind Dateline that in Canada last week, one of that country’s biggest lawfirms filed a national class action lawsuit.

dateline@nbc.com

Posted by: angelo21122 on May 16, 2005 11:19 AM
I was on Mirapex for three and a half years and I had no idea the legally manufactured drug was capable of causing me to do the things I did. The side effects alone are enough to contend with but the compulsive shopping problem is over the top. I ran up in excess of $200,000 in credit card debt during the time I was on Mirapex. My life was spiraling out of control and through sheer intuition (and not knowing what else to do) I asked my doctor if I could get off Mirapex. He told me I could and do so slowly (but didn’t tell how me exactly how to do so). As soon as I started getting off of the drug I started calming down and the urge to shop lessened (at this time I had idea of the connection between the compulsive gambling/shopping problem). After being off the drug for 5 weeks and experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms (which I didn’t know were withdrawal symptoms at the time) I called the NPF and asked for some background information on Mirapex and I was informed about the Phoenix-Stacy study and that’s when the lightbulb went off and I realized that my out-of-character behavior was related to Mirapex – it all fit. The hardest part is rebuilding my credibility, getting family and friends to fully grasp what has happened, and getting the professionals to validate what has happened and offer their help and support in rectifying the situation. While on Mirpex I was a combination of someone who was constantly manic, ADD, anxiety-ridden, and obbesive-compulsive. I am much calmer now and the urge to spend money has stopped but nevertheless I am still quite angry at what has happened.

Posted by: rkrk on May 19, 2005 11:29 AM
Cut & paste this link to see a familiar story from someone who took Mirapex for Restless Leg Syndrome.

http://www.destinyplace.com/who_we_are/gregs_story.php

Posted by: angelo21122 on June 12, 2005 05:43 PM
Has anyone heard of Abilify doing the same thing with the gambling? This is a new drug for psychosis, which has a similar action to Mirapax – it is a partial D2 dopamine agonist.
I have become a compulsive shopper and gambler since taking this drug. I have never behaved or even thought of behaving like this before. These drugs are really dangerous and should not be prescribed. I am so glad there is a class action for Mirapax. This Abilify drug has caused me to lose all my savings to the slots – so uncharacteristically.
Cheers.

Posted by: bianca on June 14, 2005 07:38 PM
I was diagnosed with PD in 1993 by Dr. Burns at Cleveland clinic. I was given sinemet and eventually was put on permax. I had never bought a scratch off or gambled at all. Eventually I found the urge to buy scratch offs uncontrollable. I would spend my whole paycheck on them. I was very depressed. So I was taken off permax and put on Mirapex. And then all hell broke loose. I started gambling on internet. I started gambling at casinos in canada. I would be gone from home for days at a time. My husband finally kicked me out after we had lost our home and I lost custody of my girls. But if that wasn’t enough I got arrested for stealing wallets at the casino in canada and charged. I am a US citizen and lucky I was ever allowed to come back to US. I also forged $14,000 dollars in checks. I mean I could not stop. I was just diagnosed by the Mayo Clinic with Atypical parkinsonism with bilateral leg tremur and andle rigity, and Pathologic gambling secondary to Mirapex. I was taken off the Mirapex and all urge to gamble left within a week. I have not even thought of it. And for the first time in my life I felt human again. I am extremely angry at what this drug did to my life. I lost a 20 year marriage to a wonderful man and 4 years out of my girls lives. Not only did I suffer but my family did. No one trusts me and I don’t blame them. I lost respect of everyone because of this drug and I AM ANGRY. I have found that I had spent and lost $289,000 atleast due to this problem and worst of all that no money lost in the world can replace is my self-respect and my husband and children!!

Posted by: Theresa Seaman on June 18, 2005 01:15 PM
One wonders just what are the requisite weight and dimensions of the proverbial brick wall that has to fall on the FDA to get some action out of them. Perhaps the diagnosis by the Mayo Clinic (no less) of “pathologic gambling secondary to Mirapex” will generate some interest, but I am not optimistic. This is a good example of why people in our situation are forced to turn to lawyers and not doctors for assistance.

Posted by: angelo21122 on June 20, 2005 06:01 PM
In case anyone was living on the moon last week, the following story was splashed across several newspapers courtesy of Knight-Ridder News Service:

Parkinson’s treatment named in class action lawsuit

BY KATIE MERX

Knight Ridder Newspapers

DETROIT – (KRT) – Gerry Schick never knew taking his Parkinson’s medications would be a gamble.

Schick, who lives in Midland, Canada, said he took the prescription drug Mirapex to ease the uncontrollable tremors he suffered. The medicine reduced the involuntary movements, but Schick said it made him a compulsive gambler.

Before he took Mirapex, Schick said, he gambled only occasionally and might spend $10 to $40 on a visit to a casino or racetrack. But once he started taking Mirapex in 1999, he said, he couldn’t stop.

“I lost over $100,000,” the Ontario resident said. “I have written testimony from my doctor saying that Mirapex caused it.”

And he’s not alone.

At least 230 North Americans have contacted lawyers in California and Ontario about joining class actions that allege Mirapex caused them to gamble, have sex, shop and eat compulsively.

“Gambling, shopping, sexual and eating, those are the biggest four, but there’s a slew of other ones,” said Daniel Kodam, a California lawyer, about the compulsive behaviors reported.

He represents plaintiffs in a U.S. lawsuit against the drug companies Pfizer Inc. in New York and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Ingelheim, Germany.

“People have become compulsive about knitting and painting their homes. We have people who have painted their homes 10 or 15 times over in the course of two months. … And these are people with no history of this type of behavior.”

Pfizer referred requests for comment to Boehringer Ingelheim. The second company did not make officials available for comment on Tuesday. Boehringer Ingelheim manufactures Mirapex. It contracted with Pfizer to market the drug.

The Toronto law firm Thomson Rogers launched a class action in Canada last month with Schick as the lead plaintiff. Schick stopped taking Mirapex in January when he learned about the possible connection between his gambling and the medication.

The U.S. lawsuit is a multiplaintiff lawsuit filed in federal district court in California. Kodam said Tuesday that he expects the case to be designated a class action within the week.

The lawsuits seek compensation for the plaintiffs’ losses and punitive damages. They also want the drug companies to warn doctors and patients about the possibility of “the significant and substantial side effects” of compulsive behavior that may accompany the use of Mirapex, Kodam said.

Until this year, the drug companies didn’t warn patients that compulsive behaviors were possible side effects of Mirapex, Kodam said.

Boehringer Ingelheim now lists “compulsive behaviors (including sexual and pathological gambling)” as a possible side effect associated with taking Mirapex. But Kodam said the seven-word phrase on page 17 of a 21-page technical document is insufficient warning.

So far, Kodam said, he has heard from two Michigan residents who complained that Mirapex caused them to develop compulsive behaviors. But whether a judge will allow the Michigan residents to be included in the case is unknown.

Michigan is the only state that bars its residents from filing product liability lawsuits against drug companies once the Food and Drug Administration approves the products, said David Mittleman, a personal injury lawyer in Lansing, Mich. So it’s unclear whether judges elsewhere will allow Michigan residents to participate in a national class action.

In February, a New York federal judge dismissed 187 Michigan residents from a class action against the maker of the diabetes drug Rezulin because of the state law. Rezulin, made by Warner-Lambert, was pulled off the market in 2000 after it was linked to nearly 400 deaths and thousands of cases of liver failure.

But recently a New Jersey state judge ruled that Michigan residents could pursue legal actions there against the makers of Vioxx but on an individual basis.

Merck & Co., based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., pulled Vioxx off the market in 2004 after its own studies indicated it might have caused heart attacks or cardiac deaths in up to 139,000 Americans.

Kodam said he will argue that Michigan residents should be allowed to participate in the Mirapex lawsuit because it was filed in California under California law.

A 2003 report in the journal Neurology detailed the work of scientists at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Research Center in Arizona. They surveyed 1,800 Parkinson’s patients over one year and found that of the 529 patients in the study who took Mirapex, eight developed gambling addictions.

Scientists believe Parkinson’s disease is caused by a lack of the chemical dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is necessary for smooth, controlled movements of muscles and is produced by cells in the brain normally.

Mirapex, one of a class of drugs known as dopamine agonists, works by mimicking the action of dopamine in the brain to help control the movement of muscles.

Dopamine also affects brain processes that control emotional responses and a person’s ability to experience pleasure and pain, and it is thought to play a role in addiction.

© 2005, Detroit Free Press
Posted by: angelo21122 on June 27, 2005 05:38 PM
It is encouraging, to say the least, to understand that my uncharacteristic behaviour for the past four years has been caused by Mirapex. Like so many others, I was given Mirapex for Restless Leg Syndrome, with the dose being gradually increased to 3 mg…. not a huge dose, but with every dosage increase, the gambling urges grew stronger. Too bad I didn’t see a connection from the start. Before taking Mirapex, I had gambled $60.00 while on a cruise, and $20.00 as a casino… nothing more. After being on Mirapex, the obsession to gamble was unreal. I would spend 8-10 hours a day at my computer, eventually having accounts at 60+ online casinos. My wonderful husband moved out of our home in May when he just couldn’t take the gambling and the arguments anymore…. I certainly was not the same person that he had married seven years previously, and frankly, he did not want to bear the financial burden of my gambling. I has used up all of my personal resources, and had actually taken money out of his separate savings to finance my habit. I started going to Gambler’s Anonymous, but the urge to gamble continued anyway. I knew that there was a drug used to treat alcoholism that also seemed to curb the urge to gamble and decided to ask my doctor to prescribe the drug for me. Not wanting to seem ignorant, I began researching on the Internet for the name of that drug (Naltrexone). By the grace of God, i continued reading after I learned of that drug’s name and stumbled across a link regarding Mirapex and gambling. What a shock, and what a relief! My doctor did tell me to quit the Mirapex, but he didn’t tell me to do it slowly, and I had the week from hell as my body adjusted to being off of the drug… not thinking clearly at all, making bizarre phone calls, falling… you name it, but I feel so much better now. It has been 11 days now, and the urge to gamble has almost completely subsided. I have contacted the California law firm to be included in the class action suit . I did a “financial inventory” (for those involved with Gambler’s Anonymous, you know of what I speak) and conservatively estimate that I have spent over $1.2 million in gambling over the past four years. Worse than the monetary loss, though, has been the loss of my marriage, and the loss of respect that has occurred as a result of this obsession to gamble. As another poster commented, though, the only positive thing that has occurred is that my renewed faith and trust in my Lord and God is getting me through this very trying time. Without Him, I would be in a bigger world of hurt, but He gives me hope. As long as I am trusting in Him, I am not alone, and He will see me through this very bleak time in my life. I am also trusting Him to restore my marriage, although that may take some time, unfortunately, because I love my husband so much and miss him terribly, but he (my husband) is VERY angry and distrustful. For all of you who are suffering, please consider joining in the lawsuit, not to become rich, but to have your losses restored, and consider praying to God for strength, wisdom, and for His guidance in your life. The difference in how I feel is just amazing since placing my trust in Him!

Posted by: Peggy on July 6, 2005 02:04 AM
Here’s a great idea: Paste this url into your browser, it should take you to the FDA Comments Page, where you will find a place to write FDA and DEMAND that serious action be taken NOW. For those of you seeking reimbursement for losses of your spouses/families, homes, retirement savings, self-respect, professional careers, etc., it is the only way anything is going to happen.

Don’t just think about it; DO IT!

http://www.fda.gov/cder/comment.htm

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 9, 2005 10:30 AM
Thanks, Angelo, for the idea. I’ve sent a long a note to the FDA… I am fighting mad and will do whatever it takes to keep this going!

Posted by: Peggy on July 10, 2005 10:57 AM
Interesting read. Maybe more will take this issue seriously.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050711.wgamblin0711/BNStory/specialScienceandHealth/

Posted by: oleander on July 11, 2005 08:27 PM
Interesting read. Maybe more will take this issue seriously.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050711.wgamblin0711/BNStory/specialScienceandHealth/

Posted by: oleander on July 11, 2005 08:28 PM
The story of the Mayo Clinic study of Mirapex and gambling got picked up by Associated Press, and has been blasted all over the world.

To to Yahoo news or Google news and retrieve on Pramipexole.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 11, 2005 08:39 PM
Thanks, Angelo, I’ve have also sent a note to the FDA. I have also sent copies of these pages to every news media I could think of.

Posted by: Theresa Seaman on July 12, 2005 03:02 AM
Thanks, Angelo, I’ve have also sent a note to the FDA. I have also sent copies of these pages to every news media I could think of.

Posted by: Theresa Seaman on July 12, 2005 03:02 AM
OMG!I cant believe this has been known about for 2 years,I only found out today!.My cousin called and said that on BBC breakfast programme, they were reviewing items in the papers today, and said something about Parkinsons drug being related to gambling.I immediately went online and found this site,I cant believe it, a great weight has been lifted off of my shoulders, I thought I was a really bad person.
I was diagnosed with PD in June 2003. and prescribed Mirapexin. I suppose I started gambling shortly afterwards,on Sky television, Sky bet Vegas, Keno, a live gambling show that runs from 6pm-2am daily, and any other games that you could play when they shut down.I used to be up all night gambling.Then I discovered gambling on the Internet, Jackpotjoy and skybet. I lost thousands of pounds, and took the money from family also.This went on until the end of August 2004, when I was in so much debt I did not know what to do.I was too ashamed to tell anyone and lied about money problems.in order to borrow more to gamble again.I was a very responsible person, a retired Bank manager, who in former years had helped people sort out their finacial affairs, and now I was the one in trouble. I decided there was only one out of this, and that was to commit suicide. I took an overdose, but was fortunately found, although it was touch and go for a couple of days in intensive care , I survived, and my family rallied round to give me support, although they could not possibly repay what I owed,( Iwould not expect them to). they were my rock when I needed love and support..I could not gamble anymore, because I did not have anything to gamble with, but the urge was still there, so I found every casino offering free cash to play with, and carried on like that. I then developed a DVT in my leg, and put on Warfarin for 6 months. The swelling in my DVT leg did not go down, and then my other leg swelled up as well.I had severe Odeima in both legs.My neck then became very painful to lift,and was bent over onto my chest.Eventually I was sent to see my Neurologist in March 2005, who immediately took me off Mirapexin and onto Madopar. Immediately, my legs went down, my neck returned to normal, and having not wanted sleep, and indeed had not been to bed for months, found that I could sleep for England.It was great , actually wanting to go to bed and sleep.Also the urge to gamble went, and I thought , what a waste of time, I cant be bothered with it. But what worries me now is, a few weeks ago, I saw my neurologist, who suggested I cut down on Madopar from 3 tablets per day, to 2 tablets per day, and substitute it with Requip!. No one has ever told me about the gambling link to these tablets, although they know, because of my OD.If it was not for my cousin hearing that today, I would not be any the wiser, and still have that weight hanging on me.Thank God I am not the only person, but my sympathy goes out to all my fellow sufferers out there.
I would particulary like to know of any other UK sufferers,because I would like to take legal action against this drug company, they have ruined my life, and robbed me of my peaceful retirement. I see one UK person , called JOHN GRAVELL, and would like to get in touch to see what we can do in the UK.So JOHN GRAVELL please contact me, my e-mail, smiles2005941@msn.com
Anyone who has any suggestions please help.
THANKYOU

Posted by: angel1533 on July 12, 2005 02:51 PM
In my previous posting I put Klonipin as the medication I am taking now. The Klonipin helps me sleep, but I am taking Neurontin for the Restless Legs.

Posted by: Gordy on July 12, 2005 08:36 PM
I have taken mirapex for several years for restlessleg syndrome and as a supplement to my epilepsy medication. During those severl years I have run up a sizeable credit cardd bill but I was so obsessed to charge things I really did not need. After reading some of these comments I threw the pills down the commode and will NOT take them again. This drug definitely needs taken off the market!!!!!!

Posted by: Jerry Peck on July 12, 2005 09:21 PM
Please be very careful if you try Requip, as it can be just as dangerous as Mirapex in regards to unstoppable compulsions.
Posted by: angelo21122 on July 12, 2005 09:46 PM
While I well understand the eagerness of anyone who wants to stop using Mirapex, or any other dopamine agonist, I cannot emphasize enough that you should do this only with the superivision and concurrence of your physician.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 12, 2005 11:07 PM
UK JOHN GRAVELL PLEASE CONTACT ME, E-MAIL SMILES2005941@MSN.COM

Posted by: angel1533 on July 13, 2005 03:30 AM
I am sitting here crying as I read some of these stories. I, like so many of you, have been SO embarassed by my actions of the past couple of years. I was put on mirapex for restless leg syndrome. I have an addictive personality to begin with, but I suddenly became obsessed with casinos and scratch off lottery tickets. In the past 6 months, I have skipped classes, called in sick to work and lied to my husband as to my whereabouts to get to the casino. At night, my urge for a scratch off ticket will be so great, that I will get in the car and drive to get one, then cry the entire way home because I broke my promise of not gambling that day. Unfortunately, my urges have also been that of the sexual nature. I started to surf various web sites and ended up having a few affairs strictly for sex. I am a happily married woman of 17 years and have always had a wonderful sex life with my husband so this behavior was ABSOLUTELY not me. I feel like an animal trapped in a cage because I am too embarassed to talk to anyone about my behaviors. I couldn’t believe the article in the newspaper yesterday, it summed up my life in a nutshell. Anyway, I guess I have two questions….. Obviously, I want to get off mirapex, but when I have gone a night or two without it, I cannot sleep at all because of the restless leg movement. What would people recommend I ask my doctor for? Secondly, Does anyone know how I can get in touch with the people that are handling the lawsuit against mirapex? I have looked online and have been unsuccessful in finding any information
Thanks so much for listening to me vent. I have not been able to express this to anyone in such a long time.. It feels good just to write this. God Bless to all.
Kim
My email address is nooneknows1019@yahoo.com

Posted by: Kim on July 13, 2005 09:10 PM
I am sitting here crying as I read some of these stories. I, like so many of you, have been SO embarassed by my actions of the past couple of years. I was put on mirapex for restless leg syndrome. I have an addictive personality to begin with, but I suddenly became obsessed with casinos and scratch off lottery tickets. In the past 6 months, I have skipped classes, called in sick to work and lied to my husband as to my whereabouts to get to the casino. At night, my urge for a scratch off ticket will be so great, that I will get in the car and drive to get one, then cry the entire way home because I broke my promise of not gambling that day. Unfortunately, my urges have also been that of the sexual nature. I started to surf various web sites and ended up having a few affairs strictly for sex. I am a happily married woman of 17 years and have always had a wonderful sex life with my husband so this behavior was ABSOLUTELY not me. I feel like an animal trapped in a cage because I am too embarassed to talk to anyone about my behaviors. I couldn’t believe the article in the newspaper yesterday, it summed up my life in a nutshell. Anyway, I guess I have two questions….. Obviously, I want to get off mirapex, but when I have gone a night or two without it, I cannot sleep at all because of the restless leg movement. What would people recommend I ask my doctor for? Secondly, Does anyone know how I can get in touch with the people that are handling the lawsuit against mirapex? I have looked online and have been unsuccessful in finding any information
Thanks so much for listening to me vent. I have not been able to express this to anyone in such a long time.. It feels good just to write this. God Bless to all.
Kim
My email address is nooneknows1019@yahoo.com

Posted by: Kim on July 13, 2005 09:10 PM
I am sitting here crying as I read some of these stories. I, like so many of you, have been SO embarassed by my actions of the past couple of years. I was put on mirapex for restless leg syndrome. I have an addictive personality to begin with, but I suddenly became obsessed with casinos and scratch off lottery tickets. In the past 6 months, I have skipped classes, called in sick to work and lied to my husband as to my whereabouts to get to the casino. At night, my urge for a scratch off ticket will be so great, that I will get in the car and drive to get one, then cry the entire way home because I broke my promise of not gambling that day. Unfortunately, my urges have also been that of the sexual nature. I started to surf various web sites and ended up having a few affairs strictly for sex. I am a happily married woman of 17 years and have always had a wonderful sex life with my husband so this behavior was ABSOLUTELY not me. I feel like an animal trapped in a cage because I am too embarassed to talk to anyone about my behaviors. I couldn’t believe the article in the newspaper yesterday, it summed up my life in a nutshell. Anyway, I guess I have two questions….. Obviously, I want to get off mirapex, but when I have gone a night or two without it, I cannot sleep at all because of the restless leg movement. What would people recommend I ask my doctor for? Secondly, Does anyone know how I can get in touch with the people that are handling the lawsuit against mirapex? I have looked online and have been unsuccessful in finding any information
Thanks so much for listening to me vent. I have not been able to express this to anyone in such a long time.. It feels good just to write this. God Bless to all.
Kim
My email address is nooneknows1019@yahoo.com

Posted by: Kim on July 13, 2005 09:13 PM
Kim: You are not alone. I also suffer from RLS, and the drug I took was Permax, very similar to Mirapex. Like you, I became a compulsive gambler and did things I never thought I would do….lying to my husband, taking huge amounts of money to gamble, making excuses in all parts of my life. I did not have the sexual addiction, nor the others that have been reported as side effects, compulsive shopping and compulsive eating, But the gambling was almost enough to kill me.
I have reduced my permax from 2.0 mg to .05, and no longer have any urge to gamble, so it could be that a lower dose of Mirapex will give you some relief from your RLS symptoms and not trigger the compulsive behavior. The permax I take helps me sleep a couple of hours each night, which is not enough, but better than nothing. I tried 8 or 9 other medicines (not dopamine agonists) and none of them worked for me. I am now trying acupuncture, and I think it is going to help. But work with your doctor….don’t quit cold turkey. Read Peggy’s post above about the risks of that. And hang in there!

Read Angelo’s postings above (September 20)to find the link to his lawyer in California.

Posted by: Barbara on July 13, 2005 10:59 PM
Hi, I’m 48 and female. I am on mirapex and have gambled everything I owned. My house, my car, my savings, everything!! Prior to this I managed money better than anyone I know! Raised 4 kids bought a house all on a modest income. My behavior has been unexplainable and totally outrageous. Now what???

Posted by: Cindy on July 14, 2005 12:39 AM
Yes, it’s me again; I promise to shut up for a long while after this posting, but I need to emphasize how IMPORTANT it is for those afflicted to make sure their doctors file an Adverse Reaction report with the FDA.

If your doctor does not know what this is, then change doctors immediately.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 14, 2005 10:47 AM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 14, 2005 12:47 PM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 14, 2005 08:57 PM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 14, 2005 11:24 PM
My husband’s story is identical to everyonehere. The problem we are now having is to find some way to deal the Restless Legs Syndrome. He has a severe case of RLS and is not sleeping at all and is having a hard time functioning during the day. Has anyone found something besides Mirapex or Requip that works?

Posted by: Debbie on July 15, 2005 12:45 PM
Webmaster: Please fix this log. There are entries logjammed that are not being posted.
Thank You

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 15, 2005 04:08 PM
Webmaster: Please fix this log. There are entries logjammed that are not being posted.
Thank You

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 15, 2005 04:10 PM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 16, 2005 10:05 AM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 17, 2005 10:50 PM
My mother has PD, is 80 and has been on Mirapex for 5 years, she has never had a urge to gamble or any other urges, maybe it is a combatiblity problem with other meds, has anyone done that study? The only meds mom takes is for PD, but the way I look at it is that each person reacts different to meds since mom does not have the “normal” PD symtoms.

Posted by: ouizee on July 18, 2005 11:36 AM
i was first diagnosed with parkinsons on april 2004. started taking mirapex on august 2004. ever since everything has gone downhill. my family said i was not the same person … i had gone to a world of my own. i started shopping excessively , with no regard to any financial responsibility. rang up $ 70,000 in debt. used my credit cards to shop & could not control it. (it controlled me). but worse …… i became a sex addict. seeking woman (on the internet) with no regard to my wife & the love / respect i had always had for her. ended up spending thousands of dollars on escort services. my wife has found out about this … and it has caused tremendous pain, embarassment, turmoil & finan cial hardship. we have been married 14 years & never had we had a situation like this till i started taking mirapex. we have just recently heard about the link between mirapex & obsessive behaviors & have registered for the lawsuit. i will be seeing Dr. Lieberman so that he may take me off this horrible drug.
To all the peaple out there that have experienced the side effects of mirapex …. PLEASE SHARE YOUR STORY & lets not let them (drug co) GET AWAY WITH IT.

Posted by: tony on July 19, 2005 04:39 AM
I have rsl and was put on mirapex. I started gambling and lying to my husband and family. I thought it was some flaw in me and I hated myself. I was so ashamed. Because of trhe gambling and credit card abuse, I had my bank account taken away and my children refused to give me money for anything.They made a pact to tell each other if I asked any one of them for money.When I heard of the connection between mirapex and gambling, I was so relieved that I wanted to cry. I hope this helps some one.

Posted by: Helen on July 19, 2005 06:38 AM
To all readers of this blog:

I agree wholeheartedly with Angelo……… file an adverse reaction report with the FDA as soon as you can. The more that the word gets out, the better the likelihood of changes being made. It may be “too late” for some of us, but we need to spare future Mirapex patients from the nightmare that we have had to endure.

Posted by: Peggy on July 19, 2005 11:20 AM
Another neat-o thing to do is to call 1-800-542-6257. That’s the Boehringer Ingelheim toll-free number to call if you have any little problem with one of their fine products, such as your spouse has thrown you out of the house, or you’ve blown your entire IRA on the Blazing 7′s slot machine, or you’ve lost your home to foreclosure–just little stuff like that.

Posted by: Turk on July 19, 2005 05:42 PM
Another neat-o thing to do is to call 1-800-542-6257. That’s the Boehringer Ingelheim toll-free number to call if you have any little problem with one of their fine products, such as your spouse has thrown you out of the house, or you’ve blown your entire IRA on the Blazing 7′s slot machine, or you’ve lost your home to foreclosure–just little stuff like that.

Posted by: Turk on July 19, 2005 05:44 PM
Well, now I know I am not crazy! My addiction was golf, sex and internet shopping. I am a folower of Jesus and thought I had lost my faith.

I ASSURE everyone out there that it is indeed the drug Mirapex! As soon as I went off Mirapex, I was fine.

I am praying for each and every one of us affected by this destructive drug! The Lord heard my prayers and now I am returning to normal. I also pray for understanding from our loved ones whom we have hurt deeply.

please keep the faith!

Posted by: JohnK on July 19, 2005 07:29 PM
Help! In the past, my partner would play the nickel and quarter slots but not to an extreme. However, in the last six months her gambling has escualted to $5.00 a pull in the dollar slots. I can’t keep her out of the Casinos.

In the past, she was honest and forthright. Now she is scheming on a daily bases to get to the casinos. She is fast going broke and so am I.

She has Post Tramatic Stress Disorder. In December 04, her medication was changed from Risperdal to Abilify which, if I undertand the information correctly, is in the Dopamine Agonist class of drugs. Her “new behaviors” began in January of 05.

I am wondering if the new drug may be the cause of her sudden change in behavior and if her medication should be reviewed.

Posted by: Alanna on July 21, 2005 12:24 AM
Help! In the past, my partner would play the nickel and quarter slots but not to an extreme. However, in the last six months her gambling has escualted to $5.00 a pull in the dollar slots. I can’t keep her out of the Casinos.

In the past, she was honest and forthright. Now she is scheming on a daily bases to get to the casinos. She is fast going broke and so am I.

She has Post Tramatic Stress Disorder. In December 04, her medication was changed from Risperdal to Abilify which, if I undertand the information correctly, is in the Dopamine Agonist class of drugs. Her “new behaviors” began in January of 05.

I am wondering if the new drug may be the cause of her sudden change in behavior and if her medication should be reviewed.

Posted by: Alanna on July 21, 2005 12:25 AM
If you look back in this log several pages, you will find an entry from “Bianca” asking the same thing about Abilify.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 21, 2005 09:21 AM
Once again, those wishing to join the lawsuit should call 909-484-9992 (www.azizilaw.com)

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 21, 2005 04:23 PM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 22, 2005 09:33 AM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 22, 2005 10:10 AM
At last people are coming out of the woodwork and admitting their mirapex nightmare. Those of us who have been through it know that mirapex is the culprit; yet, even with the recent Mayo report, so many people around us believe that we had the power to stop gambling and chose not to. Not only have we had our lives destroyed by mirapex, but our medical conditions certainly have been worsened by the undue stress and worry caused by this nightmare. We cannot be embarrassed by our actions since those actions were enduced by a prescribed drug. We know the hell we have been put through, and we know the hell that those who love us have been through. Flood the FDA with testimonies. Send copies to your congresspeople. Thank Angelo for his articulate, useful information. We must not drop the ball. Become obsessed again–this time make that obsession to make mirapex be held responsible for putting us through hell. Do not forget that hell. It could have been avoided if only a warning had appeared. Let’s keep this momentum going!

Posted by: daniel on July 22, 2005 05:09 PM
I wish people in the UK would start coming out of the woodwork, and admitting their problems!.The response I am getting here is that it is rare,and does not warrant people stopping their medication.Of course its rare, because until I found out about it ,through this site, I was too ashamed and embaressed to tell anyone about it, and there must be hundreds more like me.I have now started telling my good friends about this, and their support has been wonderful.So, come on and be brave, admit what has happened to you, so that a true figure can be found, and we can stop these drugs being prescribed, and save many more people from the horrors we have experienced.

Posted by: angel1533 on July 22, 2005 09:17 PM
I have spoken by phone with a number of people this week from all over the USA who suffered horribly through our common ordeal. Some of them were in the more advanced stages of PD and were destitute or close to it thanks to the gambling. I think it safe to say that even with a successful trial, some of them were too far gone to be able to enjoy any potential restoration to their finances and lifestyles through any legal action. I pray that their families will know the truth and take up the cudgel. Flood the FDA with Adverse Reaction Reports, call Boehringer at their toll-free number 1-800-542-6257 and impress on them the width and depth of the damage they have wreaked upon people who already had enough to worry about. Let the bloody government and the drug companies know they are facing a large, angry, and committed movement. Only this–and not some vestigial shards of conscience and decency on their part–will force them to the settlement table.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 23, 2005 12:02 AM
I have spoken by phone with a number of people this week from all over the USA who suffered horribly through our common ordeal. Some of them were in the more advanced stages of PD and were destitute or close to it thanks to the gambling. I think it safe to say that even with a successful trial, some of them were too far gone to be able to enjoy any potential restoration to their finances and lifestyles through any legal action. I pray that their families will know the truth and take up the cudgel. Flood the FDA with Adverse Reaction Reports, call Boehringer at their toll-free number 1-800-542-6257 and impress on them the width and depth of the damage they have wreaked upon people who already had enough to worry about. Let the bloody government and the drug companies know they are facing a large, angry, and committed movement. Only this–and not some vestigial shards of conscience and decency on their part–will force them to the settlement table.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 23, 2005 12:03 AM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 23, 2005 12:06 AM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 23, 2005 12:06 AM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 23, 2005 12:08 AM
This link takes you to the FDA page that allows consumers to report Adverse Reactions.

http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/how.htm

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 23, 2005 12:18 AM
This link takes you to the FDA page that allows consumers to report Adverse Reactions.

http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/how.htm

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 23, 2005 12:19 AM
This link takes you to the FDA page that allows consumers to report Adverse Reactions.

http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/how.htm

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 23, 2005 12:20 AM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 23, 2005 12:31 AM
The Houston Press is preparing a story on mirapex and compulsive gambling . The reporter I talked with is Todd Spivac–a nice guy. I urge you to e-mail him your story so that we can get the word out. The more the public becomes aware of this nightmare the better off we are. His e-mail address is: todd spivac@houstonpress.com

Posted by: daniel on July 23, 2005 08:13 AM
The Houston Press is preparing a story on mirapex and compulsive gambling . The reporter I talked with is Todd Spivac–a nice guy. I urge you to e-mail him your story so that we can get the word out. The more the public becomes aware of this nightmare the better off we are. His e-mail address is: todd spivac@houstonpress.com

Posted by: daniel on July 23, 2005 08:15 AM
The Houston Press is preparing a story on mirapex and compulsive gambling . The reporter I talked with is Todd Spivac–a nice guy. I urge you to e-mail him your story so that we can get the word out. The more the public becomes aware of this nightmare the better off we are. His e-mail address is: todd spivac@houstonpress.com

Posted by: daniel on July 23, 2005 08:16 AM
Let’s not forget Permax. This Canadian press item was filed today:

A second lawsuit has been filed in Ontario that alleges a connection between gambling and a popular drug to treat Parkinson’s disease.

Eli Lilly Canada Inc. of Toronto said it received a statement of claim that alleges its Permax drug causes “compulsive, obsessive behaviour, including pathological gambling.”

Lilly, which manufactures the drug, said it hasn’t previously been a party in any such lawsuit. Other defendants named in the statement of claim, which contains allegations not proven in court, include Lilly Canada’s U.S. parent company; Draxis Health Inc.; and Shire BioChem Inc.

Lilly and Mississauga-based Draxis did not identify the plaintiff, who is seeking to have the lawsuit certified as a class action in the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 23, 2005 10:21 AM
I started taking requip June 2000 for rls, about 10 months later (after a dosage increase) I became a compulsive gambler. I had gambled very little in the past, and never spent more than $20 at a time and that was only once every few years. I have since gotten a divorce (after 28 yrs.) lost the rspect and love from my daughter, lost the respect of my son, and I have to move from my apartment next week, and have no where to go and no money to live.
Before requip I had a good job, repect from most people and the love of my family. The only good thing I have right now is the knowelege of what this drug has done to me, I have weaned down my dosage and I am also on sinemet, the sinemet helps some, but not enough. I have only weaned off requip about 9 days ago, and most uerges of gambling have left, in 9 days i have only gambled one day,(instead of several times a day, I still have some small urges but, can fight them easier than before.
I wanted to know how long it took others for the urege to go away after weaning or stopping the drugs, and did you gamble at all during that time it took to stop.
Everyone has given up on me but, I have hope for myself now.
Please tell me if there are any lawyers taking requip cases…
If anyone wants to call my cell and talk about this I would love to hear from you.. I live in Florida. cell number… 727-534-5071

Renee’

Posted by: Renee on July 23, 2005 10:21 AM
Let’s not forget Permax. This Canadian press item was filed today:

A second lawsuit has been filed in Ontario that alleges a connection between gambling and a popular drug to treat Parkinson’s disease.

Eli Lilly Canada Inc. of Toronto said it received a statement of claim that alleges its Permax drug causes “compulsive, obsessive behaviour, including pathological gambling.”

Lilly, which manufactures the drug, said it hasn’t previously been a party in any such lawsuit. Other defendants named in the statement of claim, which contains allegations not proven in court, include Lilly Canada’s U.S. parent company; Draxis Health Inc.; and Shire BioChem Inc.

Lilly and Mississauga-based Draxis did not identify the plaintiff, who is seeking to have the lawsuit certified as a class action in the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 23, 2005 10:22 AM
I started taking requip June 2000 for rls, about 10 months later (after a dosage increase) I became a compulsive gambler. I had gambled very little in the past, and never spent more than $20 at a time and that was only once every few years. I have since gotten a divorce (after 28 yrs.) lost the rspect and love from my daughter, lost the respect of my son, and I have to move from my apartment next week, and have no where to go and no money to live.
Before requip I had a good job, repect from most people and the love of my family. The only good thing I have right now is the knowelege of what this drug has done to me, I have weaned down my dosage and I am also on sinemet, the sinemet helps some, but not enough. I have only weaned off requip about 9 days ago, and most uerges of gambling have left, in 9 days i have only gambled one day,(instead of several times a day, I still have some small urges but, can fight them easier than before.
I wanted to know how long it took others for the urege to go away after weaning or stopping the drugs, and did you gamble at all during that time it took to stop.
Everyone has given up on me but, I have hope for myself now.
Please tell me if there are any lawyers taking requip cases…
If anyone wants to call my cell and talk about this I would love to hear from you.. I live in Florida. cell number… 727-534-5071

Renee’

Posted by: Renee on July 23, 2005 10:23 AM
I started taking requip June 2000 for rls, about 10 months later (after a dosage increase) I became a compulsive gambler. I had gambled very little in the past, and never spent more than $20 at a time and that was only once every few years. I have since gotten a divorce (after 28 yrs.) lost the rspect and love from my daughter, lost the respect of my son, and I have to move from my apartment next week, and have no where to go and no money to live.
Before requip I had a good job, repect from most people and the love of my family. The only good thing I have right now is the knowelege of what this drug has done to me, I have weaned down my dosage and I am also on sinemet, the sinemet helps some, but not enough. I have only weaned off requip about 9 days ago, and most uerges of gambling have left, in 9 days i have only gambled one day,(instead of several times a day, I still have some small urges but, can fight them easier than before.
I wanted to know how long it took others for the urege to go away after weaning or stopping the drugs, and did you gamble at all during that time it took to stop.
Everyone has given up on me but, I have hope for myself now.
Please tell me if there are any lawyers taking requip cases…
If anyone wants to call my cell and talk about this I would love to hear from you.. I live in Florida. cell number… 727-534-5071

Renee’

Posted by: Renee on July 23, 2005 10:31 AM
I started taking requip June 2000 for rls, about 10 months later (after a dosage increase) I became a compulsive gambler. I had gambled very little in the past, and never spent more than $20 at a time and that was only once every few years. I have since gotten a divorce (after 28 yrs.) lost the rspect and love from my daughter, lost the respect of my son, and I have to move from my apartment next week, and have no where to go and no money to live.
Before requip I had a good job, repect from most people and the love of my family. The only good thing I have right now is the knowelege of what this drug has done to me, I have weaned down my dosage and I am also on sinemet, the sinemet helps some, but not enough. I have only weaned off requip about 9 days ago, and most uerges of gambling have left, in 9 days i have only gambled one day,(instead of several times a day, I still have some small urges but, can fight them easier than before.
I wanted to know how long it took others for the urege to go away after weaning or stopping the drugs, and did you gamble at all during that time it took to stop.
Everyone has given up on me but, I have hope for myself now.
Please tell me if there are any lawyers taking requip cases…
If anyone wants to call my cell and talk about this I would love to hear from you.. I live in Florida. cell number… 727-534-5071

Renee’

Posted by: Renee on July 23, 2005 10:31 AM
I started taking requip June 2000 for rls, about 10 months later (after a dosage increase) I became a compulsive gambler. I had gambled very little in the past, and never spent more than $20 at a time and that was only once every few years. I have since gotten a divorce (after 28 yrs.) lost the rspect and love from my daughter, lost the respect of my son, and I have to move from my apartment next week, and have no where to go and no money to live.
Before requip I had a good job, repect from most people and the love of my family. The only good thing I have right now is the knowelege of what this drug has done to me, I have weaned down my dosage and I am also on sinemet, the sinemet helps some, but not enough. I have only weaned off requip about 9 days ago, and most uerges of gambling have left, in 9 days i have only gambled one day,(instead of several times a day, I still have some small urges but, can fight them easier than before.
I wanted to know how long it took others for the urege to go away after weaning or stopping the drugs, and did you gamble at all during that time it took to stop.
Everyone has given up on me but, I have hope for myself now.
Please tell me if there are any lawyers taking requip cases…
If anyone wants to call my cell and talk about this I would love to hear from you.. I live in Florida. cell number… 727-534-5071

Renee’

Posted by: Renee on July 23, 2005 10:32 AM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 23, 2005 11:41 AM
Hint to all: If you want to see all the latest posts to this log, press the “preview” button (next to the “post” button. There seems to be some technical problem in copying our posts from
“preview” over to the weblog page.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 23, 2005 12:03 PM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 23, 2005 01:36 PM
I started taking requip June 2000 for rls, about 10 months later (after a dosage increase) I became a compulsive gambler. I had gambled very little in the past, and never spent more than $20 at a time and that was only once every few years. I have since gotten a divorce (after 28 yrs.) lost the rspect and love from my daughter, lost the respect of my son, and I have to move from my apartment next week, and have no where to go and no money to live.
Before requip I had a good job, repect from most people and the love of my family. The only good thing I have right now is the knowelege of what this drug has done to me, I have weaned down my dosage and I am also on sinemet, the sinemet helps some, but not enough. I have only weaned off requip about 9 days ago, and most uerges of gambling have left, in 9 days i have only gambled one day,(instead of several times a day, I still have some small urges but, can fight them easier than before.
I wanted to know how long it took others for the urge to go away after weaning or stopping the drugs, and did you gamble at all during that time it took to stop.
Everyone has given up on me but, I have hope for myself now.
Please tell me if there are any lawyers taking requip cases…
If anyone wants to call my cell and talk about this I would love to hear from you.. I live in Florida. cell number… 727-534-5071

Renee’

Posted by: Renee on July 23, 2005 01:36 PM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 23, 2005 01:37 PM
I started taking requip June 2000 for rls, about 10 months later (after a dosage increase) I became a compulsive gambler. I had gambled very little in the past, and never spent more than $20 at a time and that was only once every few years. I have since gotten a divorce (after 28 yrs.) lost the rspect and love from my daughter, lost the respect of my son, and I have to move from my apartment next week, and have no where to go and no money to live.
Before requip I had a good job, repect from most people and the love of my family. The only good thing I have right now is the knowelege of what this drug has done to me, I have weaned down my dosage and I am also on sinemet, the sinemet helps some, but not enough. I have only weaned off requip about 9 days ago, and most uerges of gambling have left, in 9 days i have only gambled one day,(instead of several times a day, I still have some small urges but, can fight them easier than before.
I wanted to know how long it took others for the urge to go away after weaning or stopping the drugs, and did you gamble at all during that time it took to stop.
Everyone has given up on me but, I have hope for myself now.
Please tell me if there are any lawyers taking requip cases…
If anyone wants to call my cell and talk about this I would love to hear from you.. I live in Florida. cell number… 727-534-5071

Renee’

Posted by: Renee on July 23, 2005 01:40 PM
I started taking requip June 2000 for rls, about 10 months later (after a dosage increase) I became a conpulsive gambler. I had gambled very little in the past, and never spent more than $20 at a time and that was only once every few years. I have since gotten a divorce (after 28 yrs.) lost the rspect and love from my daughter, lost the respect of my son, and I have to move from my apartment next week, and have no where to go and no money to live.
Before requip I had a good job, repect from most people and the love of my family. The only good thing I have right now is the knowelege of what this drug has done to me, I have weaned down my dosage and I am also on sinemet, the sinemet helps some, but not enough. I have only weaned off requip about 9 days ago, and most uerges of gambling have left, in 9 days i have only gambled one day,(instead of several times a day, I still have some small urges but, can fight them easier than before.
I wanted to know how long it took others for the urege to go away after weaning or stopping the drugs, and did you gamble at all during that time it took to stop.
Everyone has given up on me but, I have hope for myself now.
Please tell me if there are any lawyers taking requip cases…
If anyone wants to call my cell and talk about this I would love to hear from you.. I live in Florida. cell number… 727-534-5071

Renee’

Posted by: Renee on July 23, 2005 02:26 PM
I wrote a long story today it did not work , this is a test

Posted by: Renee on July 23, 2005 08:25 PM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 23, 2005 11:58 PM
When I was at the Mayo Clinic, my doctor told me that when you have times that you need a quick relief from the sinemet, take two sinemet tablets and let them dissolve in a small glass of pepsi, then drink it all in one shot and within 5 minutes you get instant relief. He also told me to still take any scheduled sinemet, this gives you that instant relief and does last for some time but to always stay on your regular schedule. I can tell you from my experience, that this has helped me out tremendously. I just wanted to share it with all of you.

Posted by: Theresa Seaman on July 24, 2005 12:34 PM
I was diagnosed with Pd about three years ago and have taken mirapex the whole time. I have become a gambler which is not at all like me.
A few weeks ago I learned that mirapex is probably the culprit. I have cut down on the mirapex and can hardly walk. I am miserable. It is awful.

What other medicines are there? I am only 57.

Posted by: Margie on July 24, 2005 03:26 PM
I was diagnosed with Pd about three years ago and have taken mirapex the whole time. I have become a gambler which is not at all like me.
A few weeks ago I learned that mirapex is probably the culprit. I have cut down on the mirapex and can hardly walk. I am miserable. It is awful.

What other medicines are there? I am only 57.

Posted by: Margie on July 24, 2005 03:26 PM
See your doctor; however, all my doctor could do for me was to increase the sinemet. At any rate, do as he or she says. Though we mean the best, nothing can substitute for your doctor’s advice.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 24, 2005 05:05 PM
See your doctor; however, all my doctor could do for me was to increase the sinemet. At any rate, do as he or she says. Though we mean the best, nothing can substitute for your doctor’s advice.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 24, 2005 05:06 PM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 24, 2005 09:29 PM
I also had a tough time adjusting to just sinemet. I had to increase my medicine from (1) sinemet and (1) mirapex three times a day to taking 2 sinemets every 2-1/2 hours. I am now taking comtan with it and it really helps alot. I also take folic acid vitamin along with vitamine B12 and B6. My doctor at the Mayo Clinic says that when sinemet is increased you should take a atleast 800 mg of folic acid as sinemet may cause valve damage to the heart.

Posted by: Theresa Seaman on July 24, 2005 09:43 PM
I am currently looking for an attorney for lawsuit on the drug requip/compulsive gambling. I am in Indiana can anyone help

Posted by: Roz on July 25, 2005 12:52 PM
I have beem taking Requip and amantadine for the last six years. 2.5 years ago I started excessive gambling. I could never get a grip on it. I had no prior gambling addition, only going to a casino 2-3 times a year. I probably spent $15,000. It almost ruined my life, and marriage. Then the news releae came out on compulive gambling with parkinsons patents using agonist drugs. I was thinking, why was I not warned about this by my doctor or drug company. I will take partial blame for not telling my doctor about my gambling. I never thought there was a connection. Now that I am almost weaned off of Requip I can honestly say that my urges to gamble have almost diminished. Is there a problem with amantadine also? Is there any lawyer handling Requip cases? Is Requip just surfacing because it is a newer drug?

Posted by: Randy Munk on July 25, 2005 03:13 PM
I have never heard of any problems with Amantadine; I took it myelf for a while.

I don’t think any attorneys are taking Requip cases yet, though that will likely change as the Mirapex case gains momentum. I think fewer Requip cases have surfaced due to the fact it hits different brain receptors. It obviously does cause obsessive gambling for some folks–it did in me when I switched to it after dropping Mirapex.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 25, 2005 04:02 PM
I have never heard of any problems with Amantadine; I took it myelf for a while.

I don’t think any attorneys are taking Requip cases yet, though that will likely change as the Mirapex case gains momentum. I think fewer Requip cases have surfaced due to the fact it hits different brain receptors. It obviously does cause obsessive gambling for some folks–it did in me when I switched to it after dropping Mirapex.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 25, 2005 04:02 PM
I have never heard of any problems with Amantadine; I took it myelf for a while.

I don’t think any attorneys are taking Requip cases yet, though that will likely change as the Mirapex case gains momentum. I think fewer Requip cases have surfaced due to the fact it hits different brain receptors. It obviously does cause obsessive gambling for some folks–it did in me when I switched to it after dropping Mirapex.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 25, 2005 04:03 PM
I have never heard of any problems with Amantadine; I took it myelf for a while.

I don’t think any attorneys are taking Requip cases yet, though that will likely change as the Mirapex case gains momentum. I think fewer Requip cases have surfaced due to the fact it hits different brain receptors. It obviously does cause obsessive gambling for some folks–it did in me when I switched to it after dropping Mirapex.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 25, 2005 04:03 PM
I have never heard of any problems with Amantadine; I took it myelf for a while.

I don’t think any attorneys are taking Requip cases yet, though that will likely change as the Mirapex case gains momentum. I think fewer Requip cases have surfaced due to the fact it hits different brain receptors. It obviously does cause obsessive gambling for some folks–it did in me when I switched to it after dropping Mirapex.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 25, 2005 04:05 PM
I have gambled away over 100,000 since i started taking mirapex and had an incredible urge to gamble and gamble more…since i heard this news, i have decreased my doses and have had no urge to gamble. Is there a class action suit pending and how can i find out more about it?

Posted by: shellie auger on July 25, 2005 04:30 PM
Contact Soheila Azizi & Associates in California, at (909) 484-9992.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 25, 2005 05:01 PM
I am alos looking for an attorney, for requip, if anyone finds one please email me at stampy2@hotmail.com or call me on my cell phone at 727-534-5071, I am in Florida
Thanks

Posted by: Renee on July 26, 2005 11:40 AM
I am following up to my comments and questions that I left on the bullentin board concerning another dopamine agonist drug called Abilify. Like those taking Miraplex, the damage to our lives has been substantial.

For the record, Abilify is an anti psychotic drug and is a “partial” dopamine agonist class drug. In our case, Abilify was used to treat Post Tramatic Stress Disorder and minimize the associated flash backs. The use of anti psychotic drugs in the treatment of PTSD is very common.

We desparately needed help and upon discovering the information on this web site and seeing the Dr. Dodd study , we went for a medication review. The doctor voiced her objection that Abilify was a major factor in promoting the gambling disorder. She was leary due to the absence of scientic studies and the absence of warning that OCD side effects were possible. However, in the end, the medication was changed to Respiradol. Although it has only been a few days, there has been an immediate and marked improvement. The impluse to gamble seem to be dimminishing.

I know it will take years for Abilify and the possibilitie of OCD side effects to be scientifically called into question. Until then I am hoping that leaving this information will help others.

I will report back in the next several weeks with an update. The doctor said it takes 2 weeks for the Abilify to leave the system entirely.

God’s Speed To All

Posted by: Alanna on July 27, 2005 07:38 AM
I am following up to my comments and questions that I left on the bullentin board concerning another dopamine agonist drug called Abilify. Like those taking Miraplex, the damage to our lives has been substantial.

For the record, Abilify is an anti psychotic drug and is a “partial” dopamine agonist class drug. In our case, Abilify was used to treat Post Tramatic Stress Disorder and minimize the associated flash backs. The use of anti psychotic drugs in the treatment of PTSD is very common.

We desparately needed help and upon discovering the information on this web site and seeing the Dr. Dodd study , we went for a medication review. The doctor voiced her objection that Abilify was a major factor in promoting the gambling disorder. She was leary due to the absence of scientic studies and the absence of warning that OCD side effects were possible. However, in the end, the medication was changed to Respiradol. Although it has only been a few days, there has been an immediate and marked improvement. The impluse to gamble seem to be dimminishing.

I know it will take years for Abilify and the possibilitie of OCD side effects to be scientifically called into question. Until then I am hoping that leaving this information will help others.

I will report back in the next several weeks with an update. The doctor said it takes 2 weeks for the Abilify to leave the system entirely.

God’s Speed To All

Posted by: Alanna on July 27, 2005 07:38 AM
I am following up to my comments and questions that I left on the bullentin board concerning another dopamine agonist drug called Abilify. Like those taking Miraplex, the damage to our lives has been substantial.

For the record, Abilify is an anti psychotic drug and is a “partial” dopamine agonist class drug. In our case, Abilify was used to treat Post Tramatic Stress Disorder and minimize the associated flash backs. The use of anti psychotic drugs in the treatment of PTSD is very common.

We desparately needed help and upon discovering the information on this web site and seeing the Dr. Dodd study , we went for a medication review. The doctor voiced her objection that Abilify was a major factor in promoting the gambling disorder. She was leary due to the absence of scientic studies and the absence of warning that OCD side effects were possible. However, in the end, the medication was changed to Respiradol. Although it has only been a few days, there has been an immediate and marked improvement. The impluse to gamble seem to be dimminishing.

I know it will take years for Abilify and the possibilitie of OCD side effects to be scientifically called into question. Until then I am hoping that leaving this information will help others.

I will report back in the next several weeks with an update. The doctor said it takes 2 weeks for the Abilify to leave the system entirely.

God’s Speed To All

Posted by: Alanna on July 27, 2005 07:45 AM
I am following up to my comments and questions that I left on the bullentin board concerning another dopamine agonist drug called Abilify. Like those taking Miraplex, the damage to our lives has been substantial.

For the record, Abilify is an anti psychotic drug and is a “partial” dopamine agonist class drug. In our case, Abilify was used to treat Post Tramatic Stress Disorder and minimize the associated flash backs. The use of anti psychotic drugs in the treatment of PTSD is very common.

We desparately needed help and upon discovering the information on this web site and seeing the Dr. Dodd study , we went for a medication review. The doctor voiced her objection that Abilify was a major factor in promoting the gambling disorder. She was leary due to the absence of scientic studies and the absence of warning that OCD side effects were possible. However, in the end, the medication was changed to Respiradol. Although it has only been a few days, there has been an immediate and marked improvement. The impluse to gamble seem to be dimminishing.

I know it will take years for Abilify and the possibilitie of OCD side effects to be scientifically called into question. Until then I am hoping that leaving this information will help others.

I will report back in the next several weeks with an update. The doctor said it takes 2 weeks for the Abilify to leave the system entirely.

God’s Speed To All

Posted by: Alanna on July 27, 2005 07:46 AM
I am following up to my comments and questions that I left on the bullentin board concerning another dopamine agonist drug called Abilify. Like those taking Miraplex, the damage to our lives has been substantial.

For the record, Abilify is an anti psychotic drug and is a “partial” dopamine agonist class drug. In our case, Abilify was used to treat Post Tramatic Stress Disorder and minimize the associated flash backs. The use of anti psychotic drugs in the treatment of PTSD is very common.

We desparately needed help when we discovered the information on this web site and the Dr. Dodd study.

We went for a medication review. The doctor voiced her objection that Abilify was a major factor in promoting the gambling disorder. She was leary due to the absence of scientic studies and the absence of warning that OCD side effects were possible. However, in the end, the medication was changed to Respiradol. Although it has only been a few days, there has been an immediate and marked improvement. The impluse to gamble seem to be dimminishing.

I know it will take years for Abilify and the possibilitie of OCD side effects to be scientifically called into question. Until then I am hoping that leaving this information will help others.

I will report back in the next several weeks with an update. The doctor said it takes 2 weeks for the Abilify to leave the system entirely.

God’s Speed To All

Posted by: Alanna on July 27, 2005 07:48 AM
I don’t envy the road you are facing, having been there. Stay mad and stay determined.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 27, 2005 11:34 PM
I don’t envy the road you are facing, having been there. Stay mad and stay determined.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 27, 2005 11:35 PM
I don’t envy the road you are facing, having been there. Stay mad and stay determined.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 27, 2005 11:36 PM
test

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 29, 2005 05:49 PM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 29, 2005 05:49 PM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 29, 2005 05:51 PM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 29, 2005 05:52 PM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 29, 2005 05:54 PM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 29, 2005 05:54 PM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 29, 2005 05:55 PM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 29, 2005 05:55 PM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 29, 2005 05:56 PM
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Posted by: angelo21122 on July 29, 2005 05:57 PM
I have a question. I typed a comment on 7/25/2005 and when I just read it, it wasnt what I typed. How can that be>???

Posted by: Roz on July 30, 2005 10:44 PM
I don’t know; unless the Webmaster (who maintains the log) changed it for some reason.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 30, 2005 11:49 PM
I don’t know; unless the Webmaster (who maintains the log) changed it for some reason.

Posted by: angelo21122 on July 30, 2005 11:50 PM
Can anyone direct me to a chat room for parkinsons? I cant seem to find one.. If they make it a class act lawsuit on Requip should we just wait or should we still try and locate an attorney. Im in Indiana and so far the only I can find is in California. Im on Social Security Disability and I have no money because I gambled it all away..Imagine that!!! So I cant afford to go to California or pay for an attorney. Im looking for an attorney that you only pay if u win your case………HELP!! I have even gone as far as writing bad checks to gamble. Im kinda scared about that part of it. Im hoping when I show the judge all this info i have found on everyone else that has the same problem Im hoping he will give me a break. Anyway Im in way over my head……

Posted by: Roz on August 1, 2005 12:12 AM
IM still looking for a chat room on parkinsons.. anyone got any ideas

Posted by: roz on August 1, 2005 04:27 AM
If anyone is looking for a lawyer for requip, try searching under requip litigation. I have seen some advertising for both Mirapex and requip. Also, I have had great luck using comptan along with a B Complex Vitamin. Also, Mayo Clinic told me that when you are having a tuff time with tremors between med times, try dissolving 2 tablets of sinemet in pepsi and drink all at once. It works within 5 minutes, but don’t go off your scheduled doses.

Posted by: Theresa Seaman on August 5, 2005 12:08 AM
Also, if we ever do get awared damages for this, it is not taxable. Only if you make money from the money awared (such as interest, ect.) does that money you made become taxable. I am a little annoyed that my lawyer, Daniel Kodam, has not even contacted me about my papers submitted so I know whether he needs anything else and where this litigation stands at the moment. Has anyone else heard from him???

Posted by: Theresa Seaman on August 5, 2005 12:14 AM
An increasingly common event, but still news:

Little Rock woman claims drug cost her thousands
( Air Date: 8/5/2005 )
A Little Rock woman is suing a drug company after she says her prescription drug caused her to gamble away hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A doctor prescribed Sheila Alrod Mirapex, a drug used to treat her restless leg syndrome.
Mirapex acts like dopamine in the brain. Peer reviewed studies show that some users develop obsessive-compulsive behavior, which often includes gambling.
Alrod is seeking 400,000 dollars in damages, as well as emotional damages.

Posted by: angelo21122 on August 6, 2005 12:14 AM
Does the Mirapax cause other obsessive behavior? My 46 year old brother had Parkinson’s for about three years, was on Mirapax, and committed suicide. He had no psychiatric history, behaved normally up to his death, and showed no signs of depression.

Posted by: Lisa on August 7, 2005 01:44 AM
Lisa– This recent item may answer your question:

Sealy family files suit in death of mother

Daughters blame drug for causing father to attack

By Erin L. Nissley

enissley@centredaily.com

BELLEFONTE — The family of a man accused of beating his wife to death in 2003 has sued his doctor and two medical facilities for malpractice, blaming a prescribed medication for the attack that killed their mother.

Philadelphia lawyer Michael S. Bloom filed the suit in Centre County Court late last week on behalf of Karen Haas and Robin Ciarrocchi, daughters of Robert and Martha Sealy. It names as defendants Dr. John Mateer, Geisinger Medical Center and Bon Secours Holy Family Hospital in Blair County.

Police said Martha Sealy, 65, was killed June 12, 2003, by her husband, Robert, a former Penns Valley football coach who was suffering from Parkinson’s disease and cancer. According to court records, Haas found her father beating her mother on the lawn of the couple’s home in Spring Mills that afternoon. Haas managed to get her mother inside the house and locked in a bathroom, but Robert Sealy broke through the door and continued beating his wife.

The 66-year-old was charged with murder but died in prison before the case went to trial.

The medical malpractice suit claims that Robert Sealy was prescribed Mirapex for the treatment of his Parkinson’s disease, a drug that affects the level of mood-controlling dopamine in the body and can cause aggression and psychosis. The lawsuit states that Sealy’s doctor, Mateer at Geisinger Medical Center, failed to lower or discontinue the drug despite changes in Sealy’s behavior.

Mateer was aware Sealy was hospitalized twice, once at Bon Secours, for erratic and aggressive behavior between 2000 and 2002, the lawsuit claims. In addition, Mateer knew about other instances of Sealy’s behavior changes, including walking around his property with a running chain saw or weed whacker and threats Sealy made to kill his wife and commit suicide, according to the suit.

Despite this, Mateer increased Sealy’s dosage of Mirapex in fall 2002 to twice the daily dosage recommended by the manufacturer, the suit claims.

The attorney representing Mateer and Geisinger Medical Center, Donna Rae, could not be reached for comment. Alison Everett, spokeswoman for Geisinger Health Systems, said Thursday that the company cannot comment on the suit because it had not had the chance to review it.

Bon Secours is named because, according to the suit, it failed to warn the family about statements Sealy had made while hospitalized and failed to consult with Mateer about Sealy’s dosage of Mirapex.

The sisters, who are administrators of their mother’s estate, are asking for $25,000 in damages under the state’s Wrongful Death Act and for their mother’s pain and suffering.

Erin L. Nissley can be reached at 231-4616.

Posted by: angelo21122 on August 7, 2005 08:41 AM
Hi, I posted a couple of weeks ago,and have had some helpful advice from some of you.I live in the UK and here it seems as though the doctors think its so rare, there is no problem and not let talk about it.
I have at last found a journalist in the UK who is interested in doing a much needed, hard hitting article on this subject, and would like anyone in the UK to contact her with your story.Her e-mail is joalexander71@hotmail.com

Posted by: angel1533 on August 8, 2005 04:07 AM
Here is the link to the results of a spanish enquiry into this problem.You might find it interesting and help to pursue your case.

http://www.basisonline.org/backissues/2001/vol6pdf/wager621.pdf

Posted by: angel1533 on August 8, 2005 07:08 PM
Thanks very much!

Posted by: angelo21122 on August 8, 2005 08:15 PM
More and more horrific stories about Mirapex are coming to the surface. Wonder how many people caught up in the nightmare did commit suicide?, I certainly know that I considered it more than once when I was unaware of what was causing my destrutive behavior. The stress from the gambling and the obvious problems it causes certainly worsened my Parkinson’s disease, and the financial burdens it has caused continues to cause stress and worry; yet, we have all gotten a little farther along than we were a year ago. Two years ago, I never would have thought that we would have gotten this far–studies are supporting what we already knew, people are coming forth admitting what has happened to them, and the news media has picked up the story. Let’s keep the faith!

Posted by: daniel on August 10, 2005 10:08 AM
Everyone please remember to have your doctors file Adverse Reaction Reports with the FDA, detailing your compulsive behavior while using whatever dopamine agonist (Mirapex, Requip, or Permax) you were prescribed.

Also note, the Azizi law firm now has a toll-free number: 1-866-484-9992.

Daniel, you are right–we have come a very long way. Press reports are mounting, and we have been vindicated. Stay mad and stay committed. Don’t forget what this poison did to us. The resources we squandered while under the influence of this mind-bending drug not only belonged to us, but to our children and other loved ones.

Posted by: angelo21122 on August 10, 2005 11:12 AM
Again, this link should take you to the FDA page used to report adverse reactions on-line. If you are unsure as to how to use this link, or are having technical problems with it, have your doctor send in one for you:

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/

Posted by: angelo21122 on August 14, 2005 09:47 AM
Sorry, I forgot– add “https://” to the beginning of the FDA link.

Posted by: angelo21122 on August 14, 2005 09:50 AM
Hi, just to let you know, I live in the UK,and have given an interview to a Journalist here, and the story, should be printed in the national newspapers next Wednesday.Also have found some lawyers in the UK who might take up the case, Leigh Day & co.

Posted by: angel1533 on August 17, 2005 02:27 PM
Good on ya!

Posted by: angelo21122 on August 17, 2005 04:47 PM
My God! I have been living in gambling hell and close to suicide because of it. Wish I would die so my compulsive gambling would be over. If I had only found out about this one year ago. I am stopping the mirapex TODAY! I will be contacting the attorney in California. These people should pay for the hell they have put us thru. If only the package had a warning I would have known immediately what was happening. The drug companies hid this information and should be held accountable.

Posted by: Kitty on August 17, 2005 05:00 PM
People may be sick of hearing me say this, but you might want to slowly ramp down the Mirapex instead of stopping cold-turkey. I went through a very rough period when I quit abruptly; but that may have been just my situation. At any rate, I would advise seeing your doctor before quitting.

Posted by: angelo21122 on August 17, 2005 08:27 PM
Occasionally I get a little depressed not so much about having Parkinson’s but more so about the hell Mirapex put me through and the continued stress and worry that gambling has caused. To think that a lifetime of hard work and saving has gone down the drain is most disheartening. Illness certainly is the worst problem, but the second worst one is financial. We have both. We did not have a choice about the Parkinson’s, but we certainly should have had one about the financial nightmare Mirapex has put us through. Free will and moral consciousness were stolen from us by this drug. Many of us, when we finally told our doctor about the gambling, had physicians who continued to prescribe the damn stuff to us with a warning to watch the gambling. We know that was impossible–like telling an alcoholic to drink liquor and not to get drunk!!! If you are taking Mirapex and you have told your doctor about a compulsive gambling problem and he continues to prescribe the stuff, change doctors. I feel that the two and a half years I was living the Mirapex nightmare were a living hell. I continue to suffer each and every day because of that nightmare. Relationships destroyed because of my gambling will never be restored. My always perfect credit rating is down the toilet. Now instead of thinking about slot machines I find myself consumed with worry over money. All that hard work, years of saving, sacrifices made are down the drain. Am I mad? You bet I am. Do I intend to wollow in self-pity? Absolutely not. I may go down, but it is going to be screaming and shouting. Do I think my family and I deserve restitution? You bet your life I do. You and I know what Mirapex can do. I carry a copy of the Mayo and Stacy studies around with me, and I show them to whoever will listen. I urge you to do the same. Remember we are the victims. The more people who know of our plight the better off we are. Do not give up hope. We have come a long way, and we still have a long way to go; yet, we get closer every day.

Posted by: daniel on August 17, 2005 09:48 PM
This may sound like scant comfort, but it could have been worse. I have spoken with several PD patients who lost everything–totally everying, and are extremely advanced in age. Some, I am positive, will never enjoy any satisfaction in getting a dime back. I know exactly what you are going through. I was an archconservative financial tightwad, smug about my pristine credit record, with enough cash and bluechips banked to ensure a very pleasant retirement. Now? I don’t even want to get into that, I would probably pop a major artery. And of course, Boehringer and Pfizer continue to chant “there is no evidence.” How such people can sleep at night or face themselves in the mirror is totally beyond me. I have a gut feeling, however, that given what has transpired over the last several weeks, they will NOT want to see this case get in front of a jury. Let’s all hang in there……

Posted by: angelo21122 on August 18, 2005 10:57 PM
My story is like everyone else’s. I lost everything . We had everything so that we could retire and in six years I gambled a liftime of savings and another $100,000 in credit cards and all the insurance policies are gone. We are in our 60s and have nothing. I cannot believe I did this. Does anyone know the address and phone number or web site of Daniel Kodam in California? I would like to touch base with him and have not been able to find that information.

Posted by: Jean on August 20, 2005 10:37 PM
The other thing I would like to know. Those who have RLS, what are you taking in place of the Mirapex?

Posted by: Jean on August 20, 2005 10:46 PM
Daniel Kodam can be reached via
(909) 484-9992
which is at:
SOHEILA S. AZIZI & ASSOCIATES, PC
10213 Foothill Blvd
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

Posted by: angelo21122 on August 20, 2005 11:25 PM
What have you been hearing from the attorneys? (Kodam and Azizi) We have sent in some of the paper work, but have not heard anything back. Phone calls have not been returned either.

Posted by: Deb on August 22, 2005 02:08 PM
Right now they are concentrating on preparing the casework for the lead plaintiffs. Medical records are being assembled, depositions taken, etc.

Posted by: angelo21122 on August 22, 2005 03:14 PM
Over the past few years I have realized that addictions especially gambling addictions are different from person to person in the recovery process. What works for one will not always work for another. I have found that if you take the time to look at the various programs now available you will find the one that’s right for you. I found a combination of programs helped me to beat my gambling addiction.

Take time to ediucate yourself and know that you will find the answer you are looking for.

Posted by: Howard Keith on August 22, 2005 07:52 PM
I appreciate the kindness of your info on beating gambling additions; however, those of us who were addicted by Mirapex will not benefit from anything unless we do something about the Mirapex. Those of you who have not experienced the Miarpex nightmare can not understand unless you have been there. It is tantamount to saying, “All you have to do is stop.” Frankly, I tried GA while still on Mirapex. Believe me, it was like giving an alcoholic a bottle and telling him to drink but not to get drunk. I do not believe that those of us who were addicted by Mirpex can stop gambling until we stop the Mirapex. At a lower doasge and for some people, Mirapex is truly a miracle; yet, those of us who react differently to the drug know it is a nightmare that we can not take.

Posted by: daniel on August 23, 2005 10:36 AM
Daniel is absolutely correct in what he says about not being to stop the behavior. It’s not a case of mind over matter or self-control while being on Mirapex. It’s bizarre that a legally prescribed drug can control your behavior and mind but speaking from experience it truly happens!

Posted by: RKRK on August 23, 2005 12:35 PM
What I will never forget from this experience (among other things) is the total lack of interest from my elected representatives in the House and Senate after I barraged them with pleas for hearings or other action on this matter.

Nada…Zip…Nichts…Nichevo…Nothing from either of my senators or my congressman. This leaves with the FDA.

God help us….

Posted by: angelo21122 on August 23, 2005 11:58 PM
I, too, have not heard anything from Kodam’s office regarding status of lawsuit, if anything else is needed–NOTHING since submitting original application almost ten months ago. I realize they are busy, but a form letter or even an update by e-mail would be nice. Has anyone else had this problem?

Posted by: stan on August 27, 2005 05:08 AM
Compulsive gamblers continue to be hostiile until they realize there is help for them.

They exhibit similar patterns but recovery is different from person to person.

If you know someone has a gambling addiction take the time to understand them.

No one wakes up and decides to lose all their money gambling and even worse they don’t know how to stop. There are so many resources available, take the time to check them out.

It’s time to invest in yourself. Not the gambling establishments.

Keith

Posted by: Howard Keith on August 28, 2005 12:58 PM
We sent our retainer agreement and questionaire back to Kodam’s office. Haven’t sent any documentation yet. Aren’t sure what to send. When we called and left a message with this question, we never heard back. We too are frustrated and don’t know what to do next. We have submitted a report to the FDA.

Posted by: Deb on August 28, 2005 02:19 PM
Just recently there was a challenge by the drug companies to several charges by the plaintiffs (us). The judge upheld about 90% of our case, including the challenged claim to punitive damages. According to Kodam this was a good, solid victory for us, but is only the first of no doubt many other hurdles we will face.

I suspect we will all hear more from Kodam and Azizi after the November hearing on the change in the action from multi plaintiff to class action.

Posted by: Theresa Seaman on August 31, 2005 03:34 PM
There are other law firms out there testing the waters for Mirapex clients. Go to Google, enter Mirapex litigation (no quote marks), and dig around.

Posted by: Turk on September 2, 2005 12:51 AM
suspect we will all hear more from Kodam and Azizi after the November hearing on the change in the action from multi plaintiff to class action.

Posted by: russian doctor, russkie knigi, russkie gazety, russkie zhurnaly, russian apteka on September 2, 2005 04:45 AM
For any UK residents, Leigh Day & co , solicitors in London, are looking into taking cases on.Anyone with this problem please contact Sapna Malik at the above solicitors.We are only just finding out about this problem in the UK,and two of us have given interviews for national newspapers,which will publish very soon.I can not believe that there are only two of us in the UK who have had this problem.I only found out by chance about this,ther must be hundreds of people who do not know,and lets face it, when you are on the Mirapex and gambling away, you dont know you have a problem, only when you come off of it do you realise what you have done.These facts must be made known, so that family and friends can spot a possible problem before it gets out of hand.

Posted by: angel1533 on September 4, 2005 05:45 PM
I to have been taking Mirapex and Requipe and have got my life in a real hole. But I have stopped taking both drugs and am now digng my way back out of that hole I got myself into while taking the two drugs. I am very interested in hearing more abut how the court case is going. I am havng a hardtime getting any of the information. Deb you have giving me more info by your comments than I have got anywhere else. I would like to chat with you sometime if you had time sometime. idahobuyer@hotmail.com
Anybody else that has any information please post it here or feel free to email me also

Posted by: Steve on September 7, 2005 10:27 AM
http://www.davemackie.addr.com/wwwboard/messages/4959.html grownthudworth

Posted by: lucky on September 7, 2005 04:46 PM
I’ve been with each and everyone of you through hell and back. I’ve writen a book entitled “Our Life Turns On”. About lilfe before and after DBS(activa)

Posted by: I12CUlikPD on September 8, 2005 12:42 PM
Ropinerole has been devastating to me; and now I find out the attorneys aren’t taking us on because Mirapex is enough for them to handle.
100 new cases/day. In the meantime us requips are out here licking our wounds.

Posted by: I12CUlikPD on September 8, 2005 03:39 PM
We have to get requip recognized as a potential problem by lawyers and drug companies. God forbid anyone out there goes thru what I did!
>behlinger@charter.net

Posted by: I12CUlikPD on September 8, 2005 04:31 PM
On 27 July I wrote about the gambling and changes in behavior my partner experinced when she began taking Abilify to minimize the flash backs associated with Post Tramatic Stress disorder. For the record, Abilify is an anti psychotic drug and a partial dopamine agonist class drug.

For two weeks, after she stopped taking Abilify we were fortunate enough to have access to a semi remote lake cabin. I took her there to detox and to get her away from the casinos and minmize the financial damage. She had begun writing bad checks. The situation was becoming very serious very fast.

Once at the cabin, she would have periods when the urge to gamble would just surface and hit hard without warning. At one point, we were in the boat, in the middle of the lake, and she begged me to go ashore and drive 125 to the nearest casino.

I had to take the car keys with me when I left her alone to go fishing. Sure enough, at one point , she searched the entire cabin for the car keys while I was gone. If those keys had been available, I know she would have left me in the middle of no where to go find the nearest casino. The urge, when it hit, was that strong.

However, as the days went by and the Abilify left her system, the urge to gamble went away and she began to experince a deep fatigue and slept alot. I believe the fatigue was from running at such a high uncontrolled pace for 6 months. In the month, since we came back from the cabin, there has been no impluse to gamble. Now, she can’t stand to look at casino billboards or commercials. She physically gets ill.

In terms of damage, we were forntunate. Our experince only lasted 6 months. Although we incurred damage, we did not lose everything. I attribute this to the effort and care that those of you who have contributed to this blog have taken to get the word out and educate those that are unaware. My partner and I thank you for your concern, efforts and caring.

Posted by: Alanna on September 13, 2005 08:21 AM
Your situation reminds me of mine. I held an extremely responsible and demanding position; Mirapex reduced me to pilfering my son’s lawn mowing money while he slept so I could continue to gamble. A few days after quitting the drug, I too, lost all the urges. Although “CSI” is one of my favorite TV shows, my skin crawls whenever the action shifts to inside a casino. All we have left is our own resouces and each other. Never let the companies forget what they did to us.

Posted by: angelo21122 on September 13, 2005 06:05 PM
Follow this link to an outstanding article. I believe some of our bloggers participated…..

http://www.houstonpress.com/Issues/2005-09-15/news/feature2.html

Posted by: angelo21122 on September 14, 2005 06:18 PM
Let’s hear it for Costco!! (This is just mind-boggling!) Make sure you
read all the way past the list of the drugs The woman that signed below
is a Budget Analyst out of federal Washington, DC offices.

Did you ever wonder how much it costs a drug company for the active
ingredient in prescription medications? Some people think it must cost a lot, since many drugs sell for more than $2.00 per tablet. We did a
search of offshore chemical synthesizers that supply the active
ingredients found in drugs approved by the FDA. As we have revealed in past issues of Life Extension, a significant percentage of drugs sold in the United States contain active ingredients made in other countries. In our independent investigation of how much profit drug companies really make, we obtained the actual price of active ingredients used in some of the most popular drugs sold in America.

The data below speaks for itself.

Celebrex: 100 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets): $13027
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.60
Percent markup: 21,712%

Claritin: 10 mg

Consumer Price (100 tablets): $215.17
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.71
Percent markup: 30,306%

Keflex: 250 mg

Consumer Price (100 tablets): $157.39
Cost of general active ingredients: $1.88
Percent markup: 8,372%

Lipitor: 20 mg

Consumer Price (100 tablets): $272.37
Cost of general active ingredients: $5.80
Percent markup: 4,696%

Norvasc: 10 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets): $188.29
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.14
Percent markup: 134,493%

Paxil: 20 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets): $220.27
Cost of general active ingredients: $7.60
Percent markup: 2,898%

Prevacid: 30 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets): $44.77
Cost of general active ingredients: $1.01
Percent markup: 34,136%

Prilosec: 20 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets): $360.97
Cost of general active ingredients $0.52
Percent markup: 69,417%

Prozac: 20 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets) : $247.47
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.11
Percent markup: 224,973%

Tenormin: 50 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets): $104.47
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.13
Percent markup: 80,362%

Vasotec: 10 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets): $102.37
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.20
Percent markup: 51,185%

Xanax: 1 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets) : $136.79
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.024
Percent markup: 569,958%

Zestril: 20 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets) $89.89
Cost of general active ingredients $3.20
Percent markup: 2,809

Zithromax: 600 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets): $1,482.19
Cost of general active ingredients: $18.78
Percent markup: 7,892%

Zocor: 40 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets): $350.27
Cost of general active ingredients: $863
Percent markup: 4,059%

Zoloft: 50 mg

Consumer price: $206.87
Cost of general active ingredients: $1.75
Percent markup: 11,821%

Since the cost of prescription drugs is so outrageous, I thought
everyone should know about this. Please read the following and pass it on.

It pays to shop around. This helps to solve the mystery as to why they
can afford to put a Walgreen’s on every corner. On Monday night,
Steve Wilson, an investigative reporter for Channel 7 News in Detroit,
did a story on generic drug price gouging by pharmacies. He found
in his investigation, that some of these generic drugs were marked up as much as 3,000% or more. Yes, that’s not a typo…..three thousand
percent! So often, we blame the drug companies for the high cost of
drugs, and usually rightfully so. But in this case, the fault clearly
lies with the pharmacies themselves. For example, if you had to buy a
prescription drug, and bought the name brand, you might pay $100 for 100 pills.

The pharmacist might tell you that if you get the generic equivalent,
they would only cost $80, making you! think you are “saving” $20. What the pharmacist is not telling you is that those 100 generic pills may have only cost him $10!

At the end of the report, one of the anchors asked Mr. Wilson whether or not there were any pharmacies that did not adhere to this practice, and he said that Costco consistently charged little over their cost for the generic drugs.

I went to the Costco site, where you can look up any drug, and get its
online price. It says that the in-store prices are consistent with the
online prices. I was appalled. Just to give you one example from my own experience, I had to use the drug, Compazine, which helps prevent nausea in chemo patients.

I used the generic equivalent, which cost $54.99 for 60 pills at CVS.. I checked the price at Costco, and I could have bought 100 pills for $19.89. For 145 of my pain pills, I paid $72.57. I could have got 150 at Costco for $28.08.

I would like to mention, that although Costco is a “membership” type
store, you do NOT have to be a member to buy prescriptions there,
as it is a federally regulated substance. You just tell them at the door
that you wish to use the pharmacy, and they will let you in. (this is
true)

I went there this past Thursday and asked them. I am asking each of you to please help me by copying this letter, and passing it into your
own e-mail, and send it to everyone you know with an e-mail address.

Sharon L. Davis
Budget Analyst
U.S. Department of Commerce
Room 6839
Office Ph: 202-482-4458
Office Fax: 202-482-5480
E-mail Address: sdavis@doc.gov

Posted by: Theresa on September 16, 2005 06:09 PM
Recent reporting from Reuters on our favorite mind-bending drug; currently on the ABC News website….

(16 Sept 2005)
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Recent reports suggest that pathologic gambling, a severe addiction to gambling, is a rare complication of using anti-Parkinson’s drugs. Now, new research delves deeper into this association and reveals that the gambling may resolve when the drug is stopped and that the drug pramipexole is often implicated.

The findings, which appear in the Archives of Neurology, are based on a study of 11 patients with Parkinson’s disease and pathologic gambling who were seen at the Mayo Clinic between 2002 and 2004. Despite having had no previous history of compulsive gambling, one patient had lost more than $200,000 and another in excess of $100,000.

In addition to assessing these patients, Dr. M. Leann Dodd and colleagues, from the Rochester, Minnesota-based medical center, conducted a systematic review of previous case reports linking gambling and Parkinson’s disease.

All of the subjects were receiving therapeutic doses of a “dopamine agonist” drug, the mainstay of treatment for Parkinson’s diseases. In all but two cases, the agonist was pramipexole. In the medical literature, pramipexole was cited in 10 of 17 case reports describing pathologic gambling in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

In seven patients, the pathologic gambling began within three months of starting the drug or changing the dose, the report indicates. In the remaining four patients, the period between the start of treatment and the gambling behavior was longer, but the gambling stopped after the drug was discontinued.

In the packaging insert for Mirapex, the trade name Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals markets pramipexole under, pathological gambling is listed as a side effect seen on post-marketing surveillance.

SOURCE: Archives of Neurology, September 2005.

Posted by: angelo21122 on September 17, 2005 02:56 PM
I hope no one minds me venting a bit here..lol

Because of Mirapex, my husband divorced me in 2002 and took custody of our two girls. What I am experiencing now that I am off the Mirapex is the tremendous guilt and total emptyness that my life now has without my girls. They live in Western NY and I am in Wisconsin. I am financially unable to move at this point but also his family still does not want me around. I go out everyday and see all the mom’s with their kids and I just cry. I missed out of almost 4 years of their lives because of this medicine. I was an excellent mother before that drug came into my life and now I just want to be a mom again. I find myself wondering what I could of done that was so awful that God had to punish me by the loss of my girls. My heart absolutely aches all the time now and crying seems to be all I do anymore. I do talk to them but feel like a stranger to them. Ashley is now 19 and Ann is 13 and I love them with every ounce of my being. I had been on Mirapex so long (about 5 years) and my life was just terrible that I am having a hard time forgiving myself.

I would sure love to hear from some of you.

Thanks for listening and God Bless you all!

Theresa

Posted by: Theresa Seaman on September 17, 2005 07:04 PM
There’s no point in trying to determine why such horrible things have to happen to people leading upstanding lives; the big bus jumps the curb and strikes whoever is unlucky enough to be walking by at that moment. Whatever you do, don’t blame yourself; we know perfectly who is at fault in this situation.

Posted by: angelo21122 on September 19, 2005 09:46 AM
All indications are that the drug companies will have to do something–and soon–to address their expanding consumer base for dopamine agonists, and the concurrent increases in drug-induced gambling and OCD that will naturally follow. These drugs are being aggressively pushed not only for Parkinson’s, but also Restless Leg Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Multiple
Sclerosis, and who knows what next. Hangnails? Acne? The casinos had best brace themselves for even more drugged-out, miserable souls sitting, transfixed for 8-12 hours at a time, frittering away their life savings and the kids’ college tuition. The real preparations, however, are taking place in the drug companies’ legal departments, as they plan their collective defenses. I am no attorney–nor do I play one on TV–but I would be willing to guess (?bet? Arghh!) the so-called “warning” on page 17 of the 21-page technical document accompanying the poison will provide the fig-leaf of protection from litigation they are desperately searching for. Let’s see…the drug was approved by the impotent, toothless behemoth known as the FDA in mid-1997; the “warning” appeared in late 2004. That’s a healthy seven years’ worth of liability to plan for. I think the companies’ legal staffs can go ahead and acquire that “S” Class Mercedes and the condo in Vail, confident that they will be able to afford the payments…Now, as for the rest of us???

Posted by: angelo21122 on September 24, 2005 10:17 AM
Abilify was the drug that induced Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for me. Gambling was my obsession from January 2005 until I was taken off the drug in August 2005.

Posted by: Mary Carrick on September 26, 2005 06:03 AM
to all………….

my story was published recently in the Houston Press…. ( http://www.houstonpress.com )
If anyone feels the need to talk, call me @713-628-4419…… or write me at riversoul48@earthlink.net. I have felt and continue to feel the pain….and I am having a hard time getting over the blame for myself…..but I am working on it. To Theresa…….call me!

Posted by: wayne kanuch on September 26, 2005 12:09 PM
I was on mirapex for Fibromyalgia, gambled up a storm, went off of it for a month, didn’t gamble – then went back on it… everything started up again – I almost lost everything. I am SO ANGRY because I just want my life back, and I know there is no way it can happen. I do believe Mirapex does cause suicidal behavior – I experienced it. I just want my life back.

Posted by: Brenda on September 27, 2005 01:05 PM
I, too, “bounced” on and off of Mirapex (for Parkinson’s) 3-4 times in late 2003; and of course, the maniacal gambling bounced in tandem with it. I attempted Requip and was OK (no gambling) until Feb 2004–then the gambling returned with a horrible vengeance. I stopped all dopamine agonists entirely in late Feb of 2004, and have not gambled a nickel since then on anything. Yes, like Dr. Dodd’s study indicated, it’s just like a light switch; but one has to make the connection in order to be saved. I am grateful for the fact that I still have my spouse and a decent roof over my head–but I lost far, far too much to shrug off the experience and just walk away. I AM FURIOUS AND I INTEND TO STAY THIS WAY!!!!!!

Posted by: angelo21122 on September 27, 2005 01:56 PM
It’s been nine months of being off of Mirapex and only now I am beginning to enjoy life once again and to have my natural laughter back – what a nightmare this drug is! I am grateful, too, that I have a roof over my head and still have my spouse but the financial repurcussions is a hard one to live with as all of us who are currently going through it can know. People will say it’s only money but it’s much more than that… our credibility has been raked over the coals… only faith (and anger through concrete action) can get us through this nonsense!

Posted by: RKRK on September 27, 2005 07:08 PM
The ongoing stress is unbelievable. Trying to undo the damage seems like a never ending task. It’s amazing how much damage can be done in three years while acting in a compulsive and manic sort of way. Will I ever get my life back? Will I ever be able to move forward? Will I ever be able to put the nightmare behind me? Life was just fine before Mirapex came into my life and now it is just a mess. Sigh!

Posted by: RKRK on September 29, 2005 07:05 PM
This is from a small western newspaper, but is well-written and concerns a “classic” case we have not seen yet:

News Update
Drug tied to compulsive behavior
By Jennifer Ryan, East Valley Tribune
September 25, 2005
On Brian Hearn’s desk at home, there’s an empty space where his computer used to be.
Hearn’s family took his computer away about five months ago, after he lost his retirement savings — nearly $250,000 — gambling on the Internet.

Related Links
Today’s Top Stories
News

Ashamed and confused about his overwhelming urges to gamble, Hearn told his doctor, who immediately dropped his dose of Mirapex, a drug that helped his Parkinson’s disease symptoms.

Suddenly, the 59-year-old didn’t feel like gambling anymore.

“All my gambling urges went away immediately, but I was $250,000 in the hole,” he said. “When you’re retired and have Parkinson’s, there’s not a whole lot you can do about (the losses).”

Hearn is one of a growing number of people who believe that Mirapex, a drug used successfully to control the tremors and stiffness of Parkinson’s disease, turned them into compulsive gamblers. Increasingly research backs them up.

Neurologists who treat hundreds of patients with the movement disorder have found that in about 1.5 percent of people, Mirapex, also known as pramipexole, triggers compulsive behaviors — especially gambling.

That number is probably much bigger, doctors said, because patients are too embarrassed to admit they have become consumed by the drive to gamble, eat, shop or have sex. Lawyers say hundreds of patients with Parkinson’s disease — including Hearn — are trying to join lawsuits filed in Canada and California alleging that the drug’s manufacturer, Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., failed to adequately warn patients about potential side effects.

“We actually think it’s underreported,” said Dr. Erika Driver-Dunckley, a neurologist at Mayo Clinic Scottsdale who researched the connection between Mirapex and pathological gambling. “Now that we have started asking more, we’re starting to get more information from patients.”

The result is group of people who have become the unlikely victims of compulsive behaviors. Their experience is now a window into what can trigger the brain to act compulsively.

The findings also have prompted warnings from both Boehringer-Ingelheim, which added information about compulsive behaviors to the package insert of prescriptions last year, and from doctors when they put patients on Mirapex.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Hearn, sitting at the empty desk in his Phoenix home. “It just grabs you and wraps you up.”

STRAIGHT-LACED PATIENTS
Hearn was not the type of person to take chances. An electrical engineer for Motorola, Hearn retired in 1999 with equity in his home and a healthy 401(k) fund balance. Anticipating grandchildren, Hearn spent about nine months building a kid-sized train and a track they could ride around his house.

But Hearn’s life became his own train wreck of sorts after his doctor put him on Mirapex in 2002. One month after he was ramped up to his full dose of the drug, Hearn began using his mouse to click away $100 bets or more on Internet gambling sites every chance he could.

His wife, Bettianne Hearn, watched him get up night after night to use the computer. She saw the enormous credit card bills and gifts from Internet gaming companies come in the mail, and she saw her husband turn into a different person.

“I was in a world of my own,” Hearn said. “Instead of being in control, I was watching on the sidelines. That’s not me. Anyone who knows me knows how conservative I am.”

For Parkinson’s disease sufferers to be acting compulsively was a big tip-off that something wasn’t right, said Driver-Dunckley. Such observations led to her research and other studies of Parkinson’s patients and their use of a popular class of drugs called dopamine agonists.

“Typically, patients with Parkinson’s disease aren’t gamblers, they are really straight-laced people,” said Driver-Dunckley. “The classic person with Parkinson’s disease never smoked, never drank, are engineers, analytical, worked hard. For them to be going out and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars gambling, why would they do that?”

Driver-Dunckley’s research, which was done while she was a resident in 2002 at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Research Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, found that out of 1,884 Parkinson’s patients receiving dopamine agonist therapy, nine had symptoms of obsessive or excessive gambling. Eight of the gamblers were taking Mirapex.

Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., identified 11 patients with Parkinson’s disease who became compulsive gamblers, including six patients who developed other compulsive behaviors involving eating, spending, alcohol or sex. Nine of the patients were on Mirapex.

While the numbers are small, researchers in both studies point to the fact that in most of the patients, pathological gambling stopped soon after they either stopped taking the drug or their dosage was reduced.

“The relationship of pathological gambling to dopamine therapy in these cases is striking,” according to the Mayo Clinic study.

But a spokeswoman for Boehringer-Ingelheim said the jury is still out on what, if any, that relationship is.

“So far, there is no conclusive scientific evidence of a causal relationship between pramipexole and compulsive behavior, but we did decide to include wording on our package insert that we’ve seen rare reports of that behavior,” said Kate O’Connor of Boehringer-Ingelheim. “We were proactive about it so physicians and patients can make informed decisions.”

The manufacturer’s warning, however, was too little too late, said Daniel Kodam, an attorney who has filed a lawsuit in California on behalf of several plaintiffs who say Mirapex led to their compulsive gambling. Kodam said about 450 people have expressed interest in joining the case, which awaits class-action certification.

“I think what they did was a joke,” Kodam said of the warning, which appears toward the end of a long package insert. “It’s barely there. Doctors need to be notified and told this is something that can happen.”

More than 6 million prescriptions for Mirapex have been written since the drug was launched in 1997, said O’Connor.

GAMBLING PREFERENCE
To some neurologists and addiction specialists, the idea that dopamine agonists such as Mirapex somehow lead to compulsive behaviors is not surprising. The dopamine receptors stimulated by Mirapex play a role in movement and mobility. But the receptors are in a region of the brain associated with emotions, including pleasure and rewardseeking behavior. Researchers suspect that by targeting this region, drugs such as Mirapex may have something to do with compulsive behaviors.

Medical authorities have long known that dopamine, which Mirapex mimics, is affected by cocaine use, and the same holds true for gambling, said Christine Reilly, executive director of the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders at Harvard Medical School.

“There definitely is a neurobiological component” to addiction, she said. “There’s no reason (gambling) would be any different.”

It is still unknown what drives a person to one type of compulsive behavior over another; or in the case of Mirapex, why most patients who developed a compulsion chose gambling, authorities say.

Other factors could include proximity to casinos, the degenerative effects of Parkinson’s disease or an individual’s propensity for certain behaviors.

The incidence of gambling addiction was about the same among Parkinson’s patients on Mirapex as it is in the general population.

Dr. Richard Burns, director of the Parkinson’s and movement disorders program at Barrow Neurological Institute, said compulsive gambling among patients on Mirapex is an “idiosyncratic response” rather than a predictable side effect.

“I’m convinced that Mirapex triggers it or precipitates it, but I’m not convinced that the gambling instinct is in the pill,” he said.

Hearn said there is no doubt in his mind that Mirapex is to blame for his gambling losses. Since reducing his dosage, Hearn has used all the money in his 401(k) fund and refinanced his home to pay off his debts.

“I haven’t had one urge,” he said. “I still see a gambling counselor, but we don’t have anything to talk about.”
Posted by: angelo21122 on October 4, 2005 01:30 PM
What can I say, I know how you all feel, but at least in your country this horrible problem has been highlighted in the press and TV, and many of you have got together to start a lawsuit.I feel so alone here in the UK, I have found only 2 other people with the same problem, because we can not get this printed in the national newspapers and on TV, there must be lots of people here unaware of what this drug does, and I am frustrated to think of many more people who are ruining their lives, and not knowing what is happening to them.I have found solicitors here in the UK, who are now looking into this for me.Please, if you have any contacts in the UK, e-mail to them, the problems this drug can cause, and perhaps someone may know somebody, and pass on this information.I will also pass on the information I have about a firm of accountants, that have helped me to sort out repaying my debts, and details of the solicitors in London.My e-mail is smiles2005941@msn.com
Good luck to you all out there, keep on fighting, we must not give up, this drug company must pay for the devastation and destruction they have caused us.

Posted by: angel1533 on October 4, 2005 04:39 PM
I wolud like to subcribe……Askthedoctor@forum.parkinson’s

Posted by: NOe Morales on October 6, 2005 07:38 AM
I was so glad to find this site. Idon’t feel so alone now. I too have just about lost everything because of on line gambleing and lottery tickets .All my credit cards have been maxed out, borrowed money on our compleatly paid for house ,borrowed from family and lied to every one. I have always been the responible one in our family, making sure everything was paid for on time, Now i have to run to the mail box before my husband to hide all the bounced check mail. It doesn’t matter that I don’t have money in the bank, iI know that I am going to win enought to pay everyone back, ha.ha.I have been taking miraplex for 6 years. If I don’t take it I am in such misery that i am begging God to just let me die. I am from Georgia.Does anyone know of a lawer in my area that is taking cases against miraplex?

Posted by: Faye Tudor on October 6, 2005 12:29 PM
I would recommend you go to the Google search engine, enter Mirapex litigation, and you should see a couple of law firms closer to Georgia.

Or, you might want to approach your local Legal Aid Society and see if they can find a lawyer for you who is willing to take the case on a contingency basis.

Posted by: angelo21122 on October 6, 2005 01:55 PM
There are over 30 web postings of Mirapex-gambling studies from Europe, etc. in the year 2000. This devastating problem was surely known by the manufacturer, and probably the FDA for the past 6 years. Most people with Parkinson’s Disease get it after the age of 60, and most of them are not mobile or well enough to gamble at casinos or knowledgable enough to gamble on the internet. Consider the PD age group of 30 to 60, and the percent of compulsion will be far larger than 1.5%. Yet the manufacturers are now trying to get Mirapex approved by the FDA for several other illnesses. This does not seem to me to be a case of just a newly discovered horrible side effect, which in itself should require compensation, but the bigger issue seems to involve negligence and fraud. I hope some serious research and statistics will be applied to the history and data. Health care and medication should never be allowed to operate under a “buyer beware” system, or an acceptable percentage of death or destruction tolerated. Also, drug induced compulsion should not be blamed upon the person even if that pweson becomes aware of the connection. The gambling will continue until the money is gone and desperation forces quitting the drug. Notice also the timing of press releases in the USA concerning Mirapex and gambling. All those lives ruined since the 1997 introduction of Mirapex in the USA: a large percent of them are past the average 3 year statute of limitations for filing suit, and many of those people are now incapacitated from their PD or dead. Who speaks for us? Where is responsibility placed? How did the system fail?

Posted by: Beverly on October 10, 2005 05:47 PM
requip and mirapex are basically the same they don’t only cause compulsive gambling but other compulsive behaviors, i know because i’ve been taking mirapex for five years it messed up my whole life. i didn’t realize what it did to me till i stopped taking it, it is a blinding uncontrolable drug that sneaks in on your emotions and believe me when i say blinding, it messes up your emotions so bad you don’t realize the compulsive behavior till you come off of it. i ended up in jail and couldn’t get to my medication thats when i realized what it was doing to me. the no care atitude, the i don’t care about anything or anyone, it is like you have no control of your emotions, things that you love you can’t express that love, money you don’t want to spend you spend. habits you never had you get and can’t control. my compulsive behaviors started with studying to much for college to woking to much to gambling to collecting food coupons, and so on and so on,
it causes you to hide things from your family so you could keep doing it such as spending money,
if your taking mirapex stop it for a fwew days and you’ll come back to reality and you’ll understand exactly what i’m talking about. i am joining the mirapex litagation in california as soon as i get my head straight enough to write my experience, i still three months off the mirapex seem to find it hard to put the last five years of my life on paper.

Posted by: anna on October 10, 2005 07:13 PM
I have been in touch a couple of times with FDA. In short, do yourself a favor and expect NOTHING from them at all. In a reply to me they simply parroted the Boehringer line that “There is no scientific evidence that Mirapex causes obsessive behaviour,” and of course, hence, there is nothing that FDA can do. All the log entries, studies, and news reports mean nothing. It’s heartening to see such a cozy relationship between government and industry, isn’t it?

Posted by: angelo21122 on October 11, 2005 11:27 AM
The following “warning” is now at the Requip Patient Information Page. Sounds like Glaxo is slowly catching up with reality; and is also working to protect its corporate tushie. But, now that the figleaf of protection is fitted, let ‘er rip!

“A small number of patients taking medicines to treat Parkinson’s disease, including REQUIP, have developed a problem with gambling. It is not known if this problem is directly related to the medicines or is due to other reasons. If you or your family notices that you have an unusual urge to gamble, talk to your doctor.”

http://www.requip.com/pd/cp-ar1.html

Posted by: angelo21122 on October 13, 2005 10:18 AM
Beverly: What are the 30 web postings of Mirapex-gambling studies in Europe in 2000? Is there a list of these? Do you have it? I would love to add it to my collection.

Also, I don’t mean to be giving legal advice, but have you checked with a lawyer about the statute of limitations in your jurisdiction? The 3 years does not begin to run when you start taking the medicine, as I understand it, but when you knew or should have known there was injury to you from taking it. This does not help those who are dead, and it can never make up for the misery we have all suffered, but pursuing these companies in court may be the only way to get their attention.

Barbara

Posted by: Barbara on October 14, 2005 04:25 PM
http://www.anzwers.net/hot/voyeurs/tgdwroqw/butt.html braidconjunctionstairs

Posted by: principle on October 15, 2005 04:17 PM
Fellow readers: Don’t waste your time with the posting by “principle”…this link is to a porn site.

Posted by: Barbara on October 17, 2005 08:30 AM
“The Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Book” written by J. Eric Ahlskog has recently been released. It is the best source of PD info I know. Dr. Ahlskog is a Mayo Clinic Parkinson’s expert. This is not a light weight book, on pages 100-103 he neatly, logically, and clinically destroys any rational reason to take the agonists Mirapex or Requip…ever. Also, the sept.16, 2005 Archives of Neurology shows new research making a stronger connection between Mirapex and Pathological gambling, a severe addiction. Another study, Dr. Jerry Avorn, Harvard Med., quantified the risk of sudden uncontrollable somnolence, some severe, caused by Mirapex. I do believe that the times of Parkinson’s agonists is over.

Posted by: beverly on October 17, 2005 10:46 PM
Beverley: i’d like to track down those 30-plus web postings of Mirapex gambling studies from Europe in 2000 you refer to. Have you seen them? Can you please direct me to them? This is quite urgent. Many thanks.

Posted by: jo on October 19, 2005 08:23 AM
http://www.westlakes.org/wwwboard/messages/5470.htm countyensconcedundeveloped

Posted by: adventures on October 20, 2005 01:08 AM
Don’t bother with the above URL. Westlakes.org is a legit health-related website; but trying to go there only hijacks you over to a porn site.

Get a life, pea-brain….

Posted by: angelo21122 on October 20, 2005 02:36 AM
http://www.anzwers.net/hot/ronnu/mspsauuaui/ invisiblemorerestore

Posted by: newest on October 21, 2005 05:36 AM
i started taking mirapex back in 98. it helpedfor my P.D.thats when my problems started.i started stealing whatever i could.to go sell for cash so i could gamble .i was stealing from family members.it got really out of hand .the laws finally caught up with me . thats when i had to go to state jail for the past 3 years.this drug MIRAPEX
has really messed my life up .my wife of 17 yrs.also left me. i was in jail from june 22, 2002 until june 24, 2005. it was a nightmare.i probably went through about $250,000 to$300,000

Posted by: sonny r bradford on October 21, 2005 07:04 AM
wow! what an awful experience you went through – my heart goes out to you!

Posted by: rkrk on October 21, 2005 11:54 AM
The toll in human misery caused by Mirapex, Requip, and Permax is the story that the drug companies do not want to see the light of day. While there have been some promising starts in this regard, such as the Houston Press story on Wayne Kanuch, and others, it still has not found the right outlet. I have been writing every newspaper, TV news source, etc., that I can think of with this story, but it’s no good if I am a “voice crying in the wilderness”. Everyone, please do likewise–it’s the only option we have left!

Posted by: angelo21122 on October 22, 2005 11:06 AM
angelo21122– thank you for everything that you have been doing. Your time and input is invaluable to us. We will also continue to voice our concern and frustrations to anyone and everyone that will listen.

Posted by: Debbie on October 23, 2005 05:29 PM
angelo, can you please contact me at joalexander71@hotmail.com asap. Many thanks.

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Posted by: let on October 25, 2005 11:28 PM
I have a good friend, George Maziarz, NYS Senator who I have contacted on all our behalves. I am having him discuss what these drug companies have done to all our lives to all the Senate. I can only hope that this might help in some small way.

Posted by: Theresa Seaman on October 29, 2005 07:09 PM
Thanks very much, You never know where that action may lead.

Posted by: angelo21122 on October 30, 2005 12:17 AM
For Jean who was asking for a replacement for Mirapex for RLS, I have started going to a Dr Swick. Around March of 05, he took me off the Mirapex and put me on Dostinex. It has helped me tremendously. I also take oxycontin as I am a 24/7 RLS’er. This has made so much of a difference in my life. I too have gone through the gambling addiction. I even considered suicide at one point and was committed to a hospital in March of 2004. I had several visits with the Phsycologist over the department of the hospital after getting outof the facility, I even wrote on one of his reviews that you fill out before going in to see him that I have a gambling addiction. His response, “I can’t help you there” I started Neurontin around August of 2002 and I think Mirapex was next around September of 2002. There were times that I was switched back and forth between Mirapex, Requip and Sinnemet. But for the most part Mirapex was the medication that I took for the majority of the time. Neurontin I took myself off of as I was driving one night and felt as if I was in a tunnel and it scared me not to mention the approximate 30-40 pounds that I gained while on Neurontin. ( my usual weight was around 105 to 120) I went through all of our money and caused us to have to file bankruptcy. Luckly I have a very loving and understanding husband who has stood behind me all the way. I am also very ashamed and upset at the loss of respect dignity and thousands of dollars and maxed out credit cards (as there is also more to this long story as most of you probably have) ,of my actions and very distraught to find that the medications could have been a factor in my actions. Luckly cheating on my spouse was not one of my problems. I too will seek an attorney to review the case. I live in Houston, Texas.

For those of you with RLS I suggest the RLS.org website for Doctors in your area that know what they are doing. Or feel free to call Dr Swick at 713-465-9282 as he is one of the few who will tell you if he knows of a true neuro who knows what he is talking about when it comes to RLS/PLMD. Because unfortunatly some of the Dr.s listed on there still don’t know enough or anything about RLS. Good luck to all.

Posted by: Sissy on October 31, 2005 05:46 PM
Those afflicted with Restless Leg must be warned that our ever-vigilant, fearless watchdog, the FDA, has officially approved Requip as a drug that can be prescribed for that ailment. While the printed insert provides a warning (of sorts) that obsessive gambling has been reported as a side-effect, the TV advert makes no such advisory. ( I guess it might be something of a turn-off: “Warning–this drug may cause the dissolution of your marriage, push you into suicide, and cause you to blow your entire life-savings and your childrens’s college tuition down the hole at your nearest friendly gambling casino.” )

Posted by: angelo21122 on November 1, 2005 03:56 PM
Since writing in this log for the first time in July, my life has gotten so much better, although dealing with RLS still is difficult at best.

In August, when I went to renew my other meds, my pharmacist also (mistakenly) refilled my Mirapex. When I told him “No way am I taking that drug!”, I asked him if he was familiar with the additional warning in the Patient Information Booklet. Well, no, he was not aware that new information, linking Mirapex and compulsive behaviour, was included.

I also went to see a new sleep specialist to deal with the RLS symptoms. Seems he was unaware of the devastating side effects, too. We sat down at his computer and I showed him some of the websites and the studies— he was amazed. He had NO idea of the havoc that Mirapex causes, but did tell me that it will certainly affect his use of the drug in treating RLS.

What amazes me is that the drug company STILL does not see the need to disseminate this information to the very people who need to know first-hand… the doctors and the pharmacists who are at the front lines of handing out, and filling prescriptions and educating their patients about the drug. What a shame.

Posted by: Peggy on November 8, 2005 05:37 PM
Does anybody have any info about how the Mirapex class action hearing went yesteday?

Posted by: steven Purser on November 8, 2005 05:50 PM
Angelo……….. do you have any knowledge of WHEN Pfizer and Boeringer Ingelheim knew that there was a relationship between their drug and the compulsive behaviours?

Any info would be appreciated.

Posted by: Peggy on November 8, 2005 05:50 PM
Dear Peggy and Jo, I am sorry it has taken this long to respond regarding older info re: gambling and some drugs. This list was given to me before August 2001. I have had difficulty accessing many of the sites. Probably no longer in existence…however a researcher might know how to retrieve these. All of the following begin with http://www. except for the last two. Here goes
thewager.org/Backindex/vol6pdf/wager621.pdf

hopepress.com/html/abstract_61-70.html

geocities.com/ResearchTriangle/Thinktank/6048/academicinterests.html
realmagazine.com/new/articles/neal.html

findarticles.com/cf_0/m1042/7_49/55294937/print.jhtml

the-group.org/vip/d2/columns/addiction.shtml

psy.vu.nl/faculteit/research/psychology/mapping_more.html

gwdg.de/~bbandel/gip-article-moreyra.htm

harvard-magazine.com/issues/ma98/health.html

google.com/search?q=cache:tUlM1NYNtho:www.psychol.ucl.ac.uk/kate.jeffery/C567/Lecture13_Prefrontal/Robbins.pdf+gambling+parkinson%27s+disease&hl+en

psychiatry.wustl.edu/Resources/LiteratureList/December2000/Graybiel.pdf

peele.net/lib/gambling.html

lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Aug-15-Tue-2000/news/14170318.html

lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/gaming/2000/aug/28/510690337.html

motivationalinterview.org/clinical/motmodel.html

ncrg.org/projects/zack_project.htm

neurologyreviews.com/nov00/nr_nov00_newsroundup.html

ktca.org/newtons/14/key_concepts.html

freep.com/news/metro/wplea11_20000211.htm

buffalo.edu/reporter/vol32/vol32n9/n7.html

gamblingproblem.net/Articles%20Characteristics.htm

naspl.org/problem.html

biopsychiatry.com/rds.htm

startribune.com/stonline/html/special/gamble/gamb4b.htm

addictions.net/treating.htm

http:unisci.com/stories/20012/0524012.htm

http://webmd.lycos.com/content/article/1728.60001

Posted by: Beverly on November 8, 2005 09:33 PM
The easiest and perhaps the best source of older studies linking gambling and Mirapex/agonists are referenced on pages 8 and 9 of the study in The Archives of Neurology posted July 11, 2005 by the team at The Mayo Clinic titled “Pathological Gambling Caused by Drugs Used to Treat Parkinson Disease”……some made the link in 2000.

Posted by: Beverly on November 8, 2005 10:13 PM
To Mr. Purser: I understand that the class was NOT certified. As I am not a lawyer, I cannot and will not comment on the implications for everyone.

Peg: as the thirty-odd URLS above indicate, the problem was widely known within the community since around 2000, and maybe earlier. Also check the dates on the references at the rear of the Dodd/Mayo report of last July.

Posted by: angelo21122 on November 9, 2005 12:04 AM
Beverly and Angelo, thanks for the information.

Also, are there any Washingtonians who have contributed their stories to this site?

Posted by: Peggy on November 9, 2005 01:18 AM
Disappointing as the denial of a class action status is, we must not give up hope or the fight. I firmly believe that justice will prevail.

I have been “out of it” for the past month as I started a new med. Unfortunately, the pharmacy gave me someone else’s medicine.

Let’s all regroup and try to decide what is the best approach regarding this lawsuit..

Posted by: Daniel on November 9, 2005 06:02 AM
where do we go from here, I recently came across this website, I am desparate. Is there any recourse to the denial of the lawsut?

Posted by: kay on November 9, 2005 02:15 PM
Kay, we haven’t been denied the lawsuit; yet, the class action was not granted. I am not an attorney, but my understanding is that some other attorney can still get class action status.
Can someone add to this?

Posted by: Daniel on November 9, 2005 05:32 PM
Anyone wishing to do so may bring a lawsuit forward; however this will have to be done on an individual basis. The court ruled not on the validity of the plaintiffs’ claims, but on the legitimacy of the class. I suggest contacting your local Legal Aid to see if a lawyer will pick up the case on a contingency basis for you. Or go to Google and search on Mirapex Litigation.

Posted by: angelo21122 on November 9, 2005 05:34 PM
Does anyone know if sinemet has caused compulisive gambling or compulsive behaviors. I have been off requip since July, and have not gambled since, my life is just begining to get back together. I have been taking sinemet, it helps some. Let me know if anyone knows if sinemet has caused compulsive gambling…..thank you!

Posted by: Renee on November 10, 2005 12:18 AM
Renee: I have seen a very few reports claiming Sinemet as causing obsessive behavior, usually from the defenders of dopamine agonists such as Mirapex, Requip, and Permax. I can tell you that Mirapex and Requip caused me to gamble furiously for two years; but since quitting them and switching to Sinemet and Comtan (for PD) I have not had any problems at all and have not gambled a cent nor had any obsessive behavior of any kind.

Posted by: angelo21122 on November 10, 2005 01:31 AM
Here’s the very latest advice from the National Parkinson’s Foundation physicians on the question of Mirapex and uncontrollable gambling. As if there were still any question…An enquiry from a concerned family member followed by Dr. Fernandez’s response:

Thu, 3 Nov 2005 13:56:26 -0800 (PST)

Author: “Ask The Doctor”

Subject: mirapex/gambling concerns

Body: Hi there. I’m not so sure what to do and thought maybe you had advice or an idea to share.
My father gambled away all of our family’s savings about four years ago. Now my parents are divorced and he lives in a walk up apartment by himself. He can still function pretty well (considering he was diagnoses with PD ten years ago) and is able to work and make a really good living…but unfortunately he has gotten back into gambling and all the money has gone down the drain again. I am really concerned since he won’t be able to work for that much longer and will have no savings to help make his retirement /healthcare even somewhat decent.

Almost all of his gambling is done online. We have installed gamblock on his computers but he manages to find other ones to use. We’re investigating the Mirapex/Gambling connection, but right now my main concern is getting some money saved for him!

He’s gone to Gamblers Anonymous but we’re from a small town and the nearest meetings are an hour and a half away and he can’t really drive to them anymore by himself. He’s said he’ll give me control of his earnings but it’s so hard to do that from a distance (3 hours drive) and I’m having trouble actually getting him to fill out the paperwork anyway. I know he stopped or subsided his Mirapex for awhile, but for
some reason he’s been back on full dosage for a while (I am trying to reach his doctor to find out the details).

Any ideas?

Thanks,

J in NY

************

Dear J,

In my opinion, the surest way to get rid of gambling in his case is to simply get rid of the mirapex. He can simply be on sinemet if he needs dopaminergic medication.

He will also need a full suport system from you, and all the preventive measures you already have in place, and maybe even more.

Yours, Hubert H. Fernandez
Posted by: angelo21122 on November 11, 2005 03:36 PM
Dear Angelo
My friend John Gravell has heard that you would like to get intouch with him, although he does,nt have a computer you can get intouch with him through my e mail.
He has just recently done a short program the effects of Mirapex and how it has devastated his life and the lives of his family. The program is due to go out on Monday here in the UK, he/we are hoping that it will open the flood gates and bring other sufferers out of the wood work. There is also a news paper story which I think will go out after the T V airing..
I have seen at first hand the terrible effects that this drug can cause because I am a victim not a sufferer. John has fought a long hard battle and will continue to do so until some one at the top holds there hands up and says I know and I am sorry, John is a good man and like all of you deserves the problem to be recognised by the makers of this devastating drug.
May god bless and keep you all, keep fighting, keep the faith abd dont stop believing in yourselves…Pauline

Posted by: Pauline on November 12, 2005 01:31 PM
Pauline: Thanks for the words of encouragement; they are appreciated by us all, I am sure. I already have a “channel” to John Gravell, and will be writing to him shortly.

Also, many heartfelt thanks to the intrepid journalist who authored the Channel 4 and Sun stories regarding the human toll in misery caused by the feckless actions of two drug companies. Despite the efforts of their legions of hyper-expensive, “hired gun” attorneys, the truth will emerge, I am sure.

Posted by: angelo21122 on November 13, 2005 02:31 PM
Dear J., Please order this book for your dad to read and for him to discuss with his doctor. The title is “The Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Book” by Dr. J. Eric Ahlskog…Mayo Clinic Parkinson’s specialist. It was released recently and it mentions the Mirapex-gambling link on pages 189 and 391. Also beginning on page 100 there is a very good analysis of these dopamine agonist drugs and their disadvantages.
This book debunks many of the current beliefs about PD treatment that most PD neurologists are currently using.
Also, there is a P.D. World Congress being held in Washington D.C. this coming February with the latest research being presented by the best of the best from around the world. See the web site http://www.worldpdcongress.org. I anticipate major new info from this congress.

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Posted by: meets on November 14, 2005 03:08 AM
At last here in the UK we have managed to get this dreadful problem in print and on national television.Here is the link to a video of what was broadcast today.If you click on Watch the Report, under the heading Related videos, you may be able to watch the news broadcasted today.Kepp fighting over there, and now hopefully more people in the UK will know about this,and join our fight.Good luck.

http://www.channel4.com/news/special-reports-storypage.jsp?id=1134

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Posted by: husband story on November 14, 2005 02:43 PM
I seemed to have the best luck by going to
http://www.channel4.com/news/ and clicking on the right side of the page at watch program. The report is excellent, and emphasizes the human misery caused by this drug unlike most US reporting I have seen.

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Posted by: breaking on November 15, 2005 08:25 PM
Could EVERYONE PLEASE send an email to UK Channel 4 thanking them for their report and encouraging them to do follow-ups? It would help us all immensely. Their email is
news@channel4.com

Posted by: angelo21122 on November 16, 2005 03:45 AM
Angelo, thankyou for your encouragement. My story is bad enough but by reading the experiences of others (some of them much worse) I have been able to keep mine in perspective. I lost about $120,000.00 and have about $30,000.00 credit card debt, from gambling. As soon as I found out Mirapex could be the cause I went off of it. My big frustration is that many, many knew of the link between Mirapex and gambling by August 2003 and had anyone ( drug company, doctor, pharmacist) said anything, it all could have been avoided. I’m sure I am not alone in that frustration. I’ts also irritating that Mirapex was prescribed in my case for depression which could have been treated by other drugs. Thanks, (I just needed to vent a little) Cindy

Posted by: Cindy on November 18, 2005 12:03 PM
Cindy– “Venting” is what we should all be doing, and loud and long. The sublime arrogance of the companies is particularly galling; as of this writing, they continue to join hands with our comatose watchdog (the FDA) and chant “There is no evidence”, directly in the face of the Stacy and Mayo Clinic reports and all the Web commentaries such as yours. We place our trust in government agencies and the courts to protect us against such injustice, but, in the end, find all we really have is each other and our own, feeble devices.

Posted by: angelo21122 on November 18, 2005 01:33 PM
With the World Congress on PD taking place in February is there anything we could do in Washington to help our cause. Is there anyone who would volunteer to be a spokes person for the group. There must be a few people out there that are relatively near Washington DC that may be interested in attending. Tell us what you think. It may not do any harm to contact the lawyers on this also. Go to http://www.worldpdcongress.org for further
information on the Congress.

Posted by: Irene on November 21, 2005 07:14 AM
If anyone is interested in contacting an attorney who is gathering information about mirapex for a possible class action suit please call 800-979-5279 The law firm is Kershen/Cutter/Ratnoff
dial ext 411 ASK FOR GAVIN

Posted by: kay on November 21, 2005 09:29 AM
Irene: While I applaud your initiative, I hope you are prepared for a decidedly negative–perhaps even hostile–response from any of the national-level or higher organizations you may attempt to approach on this matter. Be prepared to find yourselves described as selfish, whining, litigation-happy crybabies who are “biting the hand of those (the drug companies) who are trying to help us.” Further, while most of us regard the source of our problem as an FDA that is asleep at the switch, you will find these organizations working in the exact opposite direction; that is, they are demanding “streamlined” FDA approval procedures, and accelerated testing and evaluation processes for new PD drugs, and NOT more FDA oversight. It gets worse when dealing even with other large, old-line organizations such as Gamblers Anonymous. A Veterans Administration psychologist I know was shocked at the outright derision she was met with when she gave a presentation to GA on dopamine agonists and compulsive gambling. GA’s reaction was along the lines of “What? You’re saying your gambling was caused by this little white pill? Ridiculous! Such people are kidding themselves, and should be attending our regular therapy sessions and joining GA instead of blaming their problems on the medicine they take….” I hope I am wrong in this instance, but that has been my experience. Big, established organizations see the world differently.

Posted by: angelo21122 on November 21, 2005 02:32 PM
If anyone is looking for a law firm that will be taking Mirapex and requip clients, contact Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.

Posted by: Theresa Seaman on November 21, 2005 05:47 PM
Hi, I’m sure that many of you have been to WWW.mirapex.com and gotten All the info on Mirapex. No matter what I clicked on I did not find any cautions on compulsive behavior. Of course some of the print is very, very small, maybe I missed it under the heading “what you should know if you are taking Mirapex”. But Hey, what the heck as long as they personally are not bankrupt and none of their loved ones has committed suicide, what’s the big deal? If you are taking Mirapex they obviously don’t think you need to be warned you could ruin your life and that of your family’s. Just the slightest mention of “compulsive behavior or compulsive gambling” would have saved nearly everyone who has posted here from financial ruin and worse. You would think they would at the very least like to prevent that in the future for others (since it is still being heavily prescribed) even though it is too late for most of us. In the absence of or a deeply buried caution on compulsive behavior any concern they show at helping those taking Mirapex has a very False ring to it. But out of the Manufacturer’s concern for you, you can download a form to help you remember to take it regularly.

Posted by: Cindy on November 22, 2005 07:08 PM
This is actually a new Mirapex web page I had not seen before. They would have been more helpful if they had provided downloads of the legal forms needed for filing Chapter 11 (bankruptcy). I also note there are new, more photogenic faces shown. I might have provided them with a picture of me in 2003, sitting with a three-day growth of beard in front of a $100 slot machine in a greasy, filthy baseball cap and my old army field jacket, drooling, with my trembling arm pulling the handle blindly, my brain having been hijacked to the planet Pluto. But I guess that might be too much for the more sensitive souls among us….

Posted by: angelo21122 on November 22, 2005 07:56 PM
I cut my dosage of mirapex in half in October, lowering the dosage did not stop my compulsive gambling, I switched to requip, I still gambled out of control. November 1st I went off both of these drugs totally, the first 12 days I still gambled, I was really afraid that the drugs had done permanent damage to my brain or that I was really just an nut case and a complusive gambler by choice. It is now Nov 23 . I have not gambled for 2 weeks. On my way to work this morning, I passed one of my stops to buy my endless supply of scratch off tickets, I actually felt physically ill at the thought of stopping there. There is only one way to eliminate the compulsive need to gamble and that is to eliminate the drugs entirely and stay off them even if it takes a couple of weeks to have it totally out of your system. You can be normal again. I gambled out of control for the past 3 years. The last 3 months were the worst, as I was struggling to get off this poison. My legs are jumping like there are mexican jumping beans inside my skin, I can live with this. I can’t live being a liar a cheat and destroying my husband’s trust in me. I worked for 41 years for the State Of PA, I had money saved, and thought I was set for a pleasant retirement enjoying my grandchildren, having no bills, I was ready to travel and enjoy life, I am 65 years old have maxed out 6 credit cards, blew my savings and had to take a job earning $7.50 an hour to help pay off gambling debts. Wow, I still can’t believe it. I was always so careful with money, I never in my entire life gambled, I would take a trip to Atlantic City on the bus and the money the casino or bus company gave back to gamble I would spend on lunch. In my gambling fog I would spend my lunch money on a scratch off.
I would also like to ask has any of you picked up any other habits, I all my life I never smoked more than 1 cigarette a day, In 2001 after being on mirapex for about 6 months I started smoking a pack a day. Finding this web site was like a miracle for me. I am only sorry I did’nt find it sooner, I guess I was too busy stuffing $20.00 bills into the lotto machines. The very best to all of you, you are a life line. Kay

Posted by: kay on November 23, 2005 09:59 AM
Like Kay, I also would like to know just what other things this drug influenced my decision (unknowingly) on. Before Mirapex, like so many others I had no debt other than a mortgage, had never bounced a check, never had an overdraft, or a late charge on bills. I managed all the money in my household, raised 4 kids responsibly and was faithful to my husband. THEN MIRAPEX… and I was someone else, no longer in control. I wonder… would I have divorced the man I was married to for 30 yrs?? I know I wouldn’t have gambled an entire lifetime of savings in a matter of months, but some other things I still wonder about. How much of my life was mine at all??? I have only been off of Mirapex for 4 months, sometimes it seems like it never happened at all until I look at the bills, and of course there is no car in the driveway, no bank account, no antiques, no equity, no insurance policies. But on the up side I do hear from collection agencies regularly.

Posted by: Cindy on November 23, 2005 03:40 PM
Teresa,
I don’t know how I missed your story before, however, I just read it. I was feeling sorry for myself for losing all my money, I am shamed to feel sorry for myself when you have lost so much more than money, losing your family is heartbreaking.

If anyone wants to talk my number is (717)545-9255

Best to you.

Kay

Posted by: kay on November 23, 2005 03:42 PM
Well, folks, this is a long shot, but it may be worth a try….. Oprah is doing an upcoming show on Obsessive Complusive Disorder .. something we have all suffered from, even if it was a bizarre reaction to a medication. What all of us DO know is that there are many many more individuals who did NOT hear the news in July and are still suffering. So, maybe if we flood her site with requests, she would do a segment on OCD with a twist. Just go to Oprah.com and click on “Be on The Show” and then click on “Obsessive Complusive Disorder”. It can’t hurt.

Posted by: Peggy on November 23, 2005 05:52 PM
Well it is Thanksgiving morning, and I am thankful to be off of Mirapex.

I was on this hypnotic drug for 5 years. I stopped taking Mirapex in August of this year (2005), I have RLS. I never gambled, my obsessions were in phases and focused more on buying things. Purchasing the hard to find ticket, the cheapest hotel room, best deal on a car, clothing, etc. I got a a huge thrill out of winning bids on E-Bay…I bought so much Waterford crystal that I opened a consignment shop to sell what I bought, not to make money, but to enable me to continue to feed my addiction . I justified this all as a “HOBBY”. Then I got into photography, burnning CD’s making DVD’s from my pictures…I would stay up all night to finish a project…I could not stop till it was perfet, or till it was complete. I would force myself to get up at the crack of dawn to get a picture of the perfect sunrise and be angry if it was cloudy. I would do this day afetr day until I satisfied the urge to get that picture, then something would trigger my next obsession, perhaps I needed a better camera for my next sunrise picture….then I would head to the internet to research and research, then E-Bay.

I never realized how serious my problem was unitil I was off of Mirapex. By that time I had lost my management position at the company I worked for for over 30 years and the respect of many of my peers and fellow co-workers that I still must face everyday. Not to mention the pay reduction and missed opportunity for future advancement. I am fortunate that my lovely wife put up with this. I spent more tme on my obsessions then I did showing her my love.

You see, I was abusing the internet at work too. Now I have my life back. I am back in control. I had my epiphany when I was off of Mirapex for a month or so and was watching a baseball game on TV. I realized it was in the sixth inning of the game and I had not run upstairs to to work on a DVD, check on E-Bay, etc.

I am back in control of my life. I am working on regaining the respect I worked 30 years to build at work, but not having much success on that front.

Does anyone else have a similar past of varried obsessions while on Mirapex????

I feel for everyone and support the OPRAH idea!!

Posted by: Mike on November 24, 2005 07:34 AM
Mike,

While we tend to focus on the gambling addiction (which was probably the most financially devastating part of this whole debacle), other compulsions are also common. For me, it was nor only gambling, but also shopping. Lord only knows how much money I spent on clothing,… but a girlfriend would come over to my every six weeks or so to help me cleam out my closet, and it was not unusual to empty 75-100 hangers to send to the local Goodwill… just so I could go shop again.

I also developed a hankering to buy paint, and I painted long sheets of paper to simulate the look of stone. I made countertops, tables, mailboxes… anything that I could stick paper and glue to. And eBay? I was the queen of buying old oil lamps… and collected over 100 of them over a year and a half. I would also spend countless hours in my studio, making soap, soap and more soap.

All of our behaviours seem to stem from the fact that the drug attaches itself to the pleasure part of our brain, and allows for a variety of obsessions, although the gambling, shopping , eating and hypersexual activity seem to be the most common manifestations.

Posted by: Peggy on November 24, 2005 12:08 PM
Mike,

While we tend to focus on the gambling addiction (which was probably the most financially devastating part of this whole debacle), other compulsions are also common. For me, it was nor only gambling, but also shopping. Lord only knows how much money I spent on clothing,… but a girlfriend would come over to my every six weeks or so to help me cleam out my closet, and it was not unusual to empty 75-100 hangers to send to the local Goodwill… just so I could go shop again.

I also developed a hankering to buy paint, and I painted long sheets of paper to simulate the look of stone. I made countertops, tables, mailboxes… anything that I could stick paper and glue to. And eBay? I was the queen of buying old oil lamps… and collected over 100 of them over a year and a half. I would also spend countless hours in my studio, making soap, soap and more soap.

All of our behaviours seem to stem from the fact that the drug attaches itself to the pleasure part of our brain, and allows for a variety of obsessions, although the gambling, shopping , eating and hypersexual activity seem to be the most common manifestations.

Posted by: Peggy on November 24, 2005 12:09 PM
Thanks Peggy!! I almost did not post my comments because my problem did not manifest itself into gambling. Although winning bids on E-Bay was like “hitting 21″ at the Blackjack table for me. I have not had the devstating financail losses that many people have experienced while using Mirapex…Thank God! Excessive shopping and a demotion at work did cost me, but not to the extent that some of you have experienced. But I decided to post my situation so people who had the problem manifest itself into compulsive behaviors other than those getting the “headlines” will recognize they may have a problem and seek a doctor’s help to regain control of their life.

Here is something I need to talk about. I have my life back…..

I now do things when I want to, not because I am driven to do them by the drug Mirapex. This is a wonderful feeling for me….I have more time to focus on those relationships I have neglected over the past 5 years.

Here is my struggle. How hard do I work to get my employer to understand that my actions were caused by a medication I was taking for RLS? How long should I dwell in the past to regain the respect and earning potential that was lost due to my compulsive behaviors while on Mirapex?

As long as people don’t honestly believe or understand that this medication is causing us compulsive behaviors, I feel like I should simply give up on the past and focus on my new life, the life I have control over, the life I love, the live without Mirapex.

But…..is that being true to myself???? What have some of you done? Have you had success in educating your place of employement on the devastating affects of Mirapex?? I went to HR and Mediacal and they saw no reason to reverse their decision. If I decide to continue to pursue reversal of this disciplinary action, I need more facts to prove the connection, where is the best source?

Thanks, Mike

Posted by: Mike on November 25, 2005 07:00 AM
Mike, you were victim, no way around that to those of us who know. You may have already answered your own question in some ways. You have managed to salvage your life before it was completely destroyed. By reading some of the experiences posted I realize my situation could have been much worse and am able to keep a reasonable perspective most of the time. Lots of things in our lives make us focus on what we have, because if we didn’t….. what we have lost could destroy us. There are times when I think of how Mirapex altered my life it is almost unbearable and I wish so hard I could have avoided that episode. But…. I didn’t commit suicide, I have remarried to a very supportive wonderful man, and my kids still love me. It will be an ongoing struggle for most of us. Best Wishes

Posted by: Cindy on November 25, 2005 05:48 PM

I, too, had a compulsive experience with photography while being on Mirapex. My camera became my signature – everywhere I went my camera came, too. People told me I had an “eye” for photography and asked how I got the shots I did to which I would reply, “I see the light”. Of course, now being off of Mirapex I don’t carry my camera around and people ask about my photography and I tell them I lost my desire to take photographs when I got off of Mirapex ….. the response I get is… “that’s no excuse, you are still a great photographer”. The truth is I am an ok (and a non-compulsive) photographer when not under the mirapex influence.

The best thing I can do for now is share my story with a lot of people. It’s such a radical one (as all of our mirapex/requip stories are) that people tell other people about it and I can only hope that someone else will learn about the bizarre side effects of these drugs and save others from potential grief. They say word of mouth advertising has the most affect on sales – so I say let’s spread the word in every medium possible.

Posted by: rkrk on November 25, 2005 06:19 PM
Mike,

Your experience was very similiar to mine. I felt lilke I was under hynosis, too while on Mirapex.

Posted by: rkrk on November 26, 2005 02:20 PM
rkrk, I can definitely relate to your comments on taking pictures. I would take mine to work and show them to my peers. Once I stopped the Mirapex I stopped taking “daily” pictures and they became surprised they had not seen any new work recently. I did not mention the medication issue. They were my peers Managers) prior to my demotion, and they may have made the connection between my demotion and the OCD. At this point, I am nnot sure if that would be a good thing or not….I will have to give it some thought, based on youre comments….Thanks.

Posted by: Mike on November 27, 2005 07:17 AM
I spent alot of money, lost my job, and may loose my husband. However, I sure do miss taking my Mirapex because it WORKED!!! I am not having as much success with the other medications I am taking. Husband does not even want me to TRY getting on a lower dosage because he is too scared i might spend another $200K – which I can understand. I do not personally feel the medication should be taken off the market, it does work for people; i just wish someone would have told us the possible side effects -It has ruined my life financially and emotionally. I just hope we can get some restitution thought the court systems but only time will tell on that one. My prayers go out to everyone who is dealing with this also.

Posted by: Brenda on November 28, 2005 12:28 PM
….. except we didn’t think we were under the hypnotic spell of the med… we just thought, at some point in time, that something was terribly wrong with us, and for the life of us, we couldn’t figure out what triggered it.

Posted by: Peggy on November 28, 2005 12:53 PM
Brenda, I tried to lower my dose of mirapex, lost $10,000 that same week. My advise is stop taking mirapex and requip PERIOD, I’m no docotor, but in my case, any mirapex is too much..These drugs robbed me of all emotion, love, joy, sadness, empathy for other people’s feeling. I was a robot for 4 years and didn’t even realize it until the drug stopped. Do I miss it h—NO. I’d rather be up all night twitching and jerking than sitting in front of slot-machine or driving all over the city looking for the “Lotto” machine with the BIG WINNER in it.
These drugs are lethal. I quit cold turkey, perhaps not the best way and maybe dangerous for some, so please follow your doctor’s advise for weening off. BUT get off and stay off; It’s the only way to regain your sanity and ability to think.

Posted by: kay on November 28, 2005 01:22 PM
Every day I see TV commercials selling Requip for Restless Leg Syndrome, and saying that 1 in 10 people have this problem. Then I see the commercials for Mirapex as a cure for pain from Fibromyalgia. I just cannot believe that this blatent greed runs unchecked by the medical profession, research hospitals and clinics, the FDA, and the manufacturers. I dispair.

Posted by: beverly on November 29, 2005 03:49 AM
You know, I have been reading this message board for a long time and have yet to comment until today. But now I am angry and want to commit to try to find a way to get all of the people who have been devistated by the drug Mirapex to ban together and fight. I too have had Parkinsons for 11 years. I was a nice everyday wife and mom married to a cop with 2 great kids. I gambled socially and thought any bet over 25 cents was outrageous. Then came my time with Mirapex. To make a long story short, I became a totally different person, caring of no one or nothing but gambling. I had been a caring, loving person and turned into someone with no emotion, empathy or feeling. We had saved and scrimped and I totally wiped out our savings, investments and my husbands retirement accounts. After I banned myself from local riverboat casinos, I would travel alone to casinos 2 hours away at night and stay gone for 2 days or more writing bad checks, charging or whatever it took to keep gambling. By the time we figured out it was Mirapex and I stopped the drug, I had lost $120,000. I lost the trust of my husband and kids. I almost lost my life. I have contacted local lawyers and have not found one who is interested in my case. I have been in touch with a lawyer in California but he is only accepting clients from that state. Now I see commercials for RLS advertising Requip (which I also took for 2 weeks and lost 30,000 in that time period on internet gambling) and Mirapex for fabromyalgia relief. How many more unsuspecting lives and families will now be destroyed? The Oprah idea sounded plausible. Apparently the courts do not want to tackle this problem at this time. I don’t know exactly what to do, but there must be a way to help the many who have been hurt by this drug. Having Parkinsons is surely a very bad thing which causes much suffering and it seems so sad that we are given a drug to help the disease that causes total devistation not only to us the patient, but also to our loved ones whose only crime is to love and try to help us. I read this board daily and would be happy to hear of any ideas.

Posted by: Beth on November 29, 2005 10:04 AM
Beth,
call 800-553-9910 ask for Debbie Anderson or call 800-979-5279 ext 411 ask for Gavin

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Posted by: strapped on November 30, 2005 03:25 AM
I’ve done a fair amount of research on drug-induced behaviors. The DSM-IV (psychiatric diagnostic manual of mental disorders) does validate that some prescription medications can cause depression, mania, psychotic, or bipolarism. The staying up late, varied compulsive behaviors, anxiety, and high energy would fall in the mania category. Drug agonists (mirapex, and requip) are not currently listed as causing these problems. Interestingly enough there was a small study done on giving Mirapex to depressed (or with bipolar) people and one person developed hypomania. Here are two links:

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/161/3/564

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/162/4/814-a

Of course, I am in state of shock that prescription drugs do in fact alter mental status. I thought the FDA protected us citizens against harmful substances. Guess not.

Posted by: RKRK on December 1, 2005 12:11 PM
It seems to me that this board alone could constitute a “study”. I was prescribed Mirapex for depression. While on the drug I ended a 30 yr marriage and gambled between $120,000. and $150,000. after which I ran up huge debt. All of this in direct contrast to my life before or since Mirapex.

Posted by: Cindy on December 1, 2005 03:58 PM
I was using Mirapex from 1994 to 2004, during that time my consverative financial positions dropped from seven figures into bankruptcy. I went from a conserative investor in stock mutual funds to an obsessive compulsive trader of stocks, options and commodities. After so many years of success I couldn’t understand why I was constantly losing money in the markets, that was not until the Ariz. and Mayo reports came out. I’m off of Mirapex and back to my mutual funds, in 2005 I’m ahead + 25%, on a five figure base. Gambling is not limited to casinos, but extends to the world financial markets, anyone making investment decisions with their own money could have been negatively effected by obsessvise compulsive trading behavior induced by Mirapex.

Posted by: APH on December 1, 2005 04:02 PM
Please please please….. is there anyone here that contributes to , or reads this site that is from Washington state? I would like to talk to you.

Posted by: Peggy on December 2, 2005 01:55 AM
Amazing Issue with Target Stores

If they have a good sale in their ads, take the ad to Walmart, where they will meet the price……………

Dick Forrey of the Vietnam Veterans Association wrote.

“Recently we asked the local TARGET store to be a proud
sponsor of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall during our spring recognition event. We received the following reply from the local TARGETmanagement
‘Veterans do not meet our area of giving. We only donate to the arts, social action
groups, gay & lesbian causes, and education.’ “

So I’m thinking, if the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and veterans in general do not meet their donation criteria, then something is really wrong at this TARGET store. We were not asking for thousands of dollars, not even hundreds, just a small sponsorship for a memorial remembrance.

As a follow-up, I E-mailed the TARGET U.S. corporate headquarters and their response was the same. That’s their national policy.

Then I looked into the company further. They will not allow the Marines to collect for ‘Toys for Tots’ at any of their stores. And during the recent Iraq deployment, they would not allow families of employees who were called up for
active duty to continue their insurance coverage while they were on military service. Then as I dig further, TARGET is a French-owned corporation.

Now, I’m thinking again. If TARGET cannot support American Veterans, then why should my family and I support their stores by spending our hard earned American dollars and to have their profits sent to France. Without the American Vets, where would France be today?”

Sincerely,
Dick Forrey
Veterans Helping Veterans

Please send this on to everyone you know to let Target know
how AMERICAN’S feel about their non-support of America and
our support of them.

Posted by: Theresa Seaman on December 2, 2005 08:16 AM
I have been contacted by George Maziarz, State Senate and will be discussing the Mirapex issue with him.

Posted by: Theresa Seaman on December 2, 2005 08:17 AM
Theresa– I think the Target business has been rectified.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/target.asp

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Posted by: Nicholas Williams on December 2, 2005 02:02 PM
Kay,

I am so proud of you, and very happy that you have found relief from your gambling. Please call me.

Renee’

Posted by: Renee on December 3, 2005 11:27 PM
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Posted by: Jesse Moore on December 4, 2005 07:33 PM
Ahem…This log appears to be attracting a lot of spurious entries (I suspect, automatic, viral ones). In the event that this log someday is shut down by the webmaster–and I have NO information that this is going to happen–does anyone know of an alternative place we might “evacuate” to?

Posted by: angelo21122 on December 6, 2005 08:45 AM
Renee:

Thanks to your encouragement I was able to get off mirapex, and talk to my Doctor about my gambling, he had not known of the OCD associated with it. There was no mention of compulsive behavior in the drug book he had either. However, he will not prescribe any drugs for my restless leg syndrome, his reasoning is that all drugs that affect the brain could have a similar affect. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I don’t want to take a chance, my live is just coming toghether and I am still afraid of slipping.
I also want to thank Wayne from Texas who I spoke to who gave me encouragement. I was near suicidial and was desparate to talk to someone. Renee and Wayne had their phone numbers posted here. I am forever grateful to them. They saved my life. Renee I will call you I remember you and have the same day off.

Kay

Posted by: kay on December 6, 2005 09:34 AM
Attn: PEGGY
I am in WA. state. Please leave a way for me to contact you.

Angelo, and others wishing to not get lost in the shuffle of potential litigation against the Mirapex and Requip manufacturers…the law firm Parker and Waichman maintain a huge web site and track all data released on various subjects, one of which is Defective Drugs. They are the firm of counsel for the litigation against Vioxx mfg Merck.
They also maintain discussion and posting forums for anyone to join regarding many subjects such as Mirapex. If you haven’t already contacted a lawyer about Mirapex or Requip, there is a case form on the home page I believe that you might use.
Robins, Kaplan, Miller, and Ciresi are also gathering information on Mirapex. They have a web site,too.
P.S. commentator APH…I don’t believe that Mirapex was approved for use in the USA until 1997 and the stock market and a slot machine are not in the same pathological category.
Good try

Posted by: beverly on December 6, 2005 05:37 PM
Although its market share is quite small, at least compared to Mirapex, don’t forget that Permax is one of the dopamine agonists that can cause the compulsive gambling side effect. There is the Canadian class action suit agains Permax’s manufacturer, Eli Lilly. I have also brought my own individual lawsuit against Lilly and its distributors, now pending in federal court in Chicago.

Posted by: Barbara on December 6, 2005 09:12 PM
Mirapex, also known as the investigational drug Pramipexole was in open label phrase III trials in 1994, I particapated in those studies, Negative side effects were already being reported before 1994 (0ne being falling asleep while driving). Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD) can be defined as an uncontrolable repetitive behavior…uncontrolable eating, shopping, washing your hands (Howard Hughes), playing slots, trading stocks, internet games, going to casinos, etc.,etc.,. Dealing with any OCD can be a living Hell. A chemically induced one is even worse. Its the responsibility of the pharmaceutical companies to inform users when any possible side effect arises. A possible link between dopamine agonists and OCD’s had been researched before Mirapex’s approval in 1997, yet it was never disclosed. Had it been maybe some people would not have lost all of their money playing the slots in a casino or sitting in a brokerage office trading stock options at the world’s largest casino, the New York Stock exchange.

Posted by: APH on December 6, 2005 11:37 PM
Beverly,

Please e-mail me at mooseman53@comcast.net with contact info. I will get in touch with you in whatever manner that you feel comfortable. I just don’t want to leave my home phone number on this site.

Posted by: Peggy on December 7, 2005 12:35 PM
The llink below takes you to a recent European advert announcing the great success of Mirapex in fighting Restless Leg Syndrome. While there is a short paragraph stating the side-effects, nowhere is there any mention of you-know-what. I guess they figure if they can just keep it quiet, “it” won’t happen…

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-12/k-nds120805.php

Posted by: angelo21122 on December 9, 2005 03:30 PM
TO APH: You mention that you participated in Open Phase clinical trials in 1994. Did you suffer any “ill effects” such as OCD with gambling or whatever other vice might have struck you? And did the good people even bother to ASK if you were having any such side effects? My research, although very limited at this point in time, suggests that there was scientific evidence that certain dopamine receptors are responsible for pathological gambling…. and since Mirapex is a “dopamine look alike”…. one would think that the prudent researcher would be aware of this and be on the look out for it during those trials.

Posted by: Peggy on December 9, 2005 05:13 PM
I was diagnosed with PD five years ago at the age of 50. I was put on Mirapex. During this time I began to gamble compulsively which my doctor told me was due to my disease and not my medication. The gambling problem was so severe that I lost my business, declared personal bankruptcy, and still suffer emotional problems as a result. My total losses are about $500,000. As soon as my doctor decided that Mirapex was probably the cause of my problem he took me off the drug. The compulsion to gamble ceased within a few weeks. There are so many people who tell a very similar story. Why is there no progress with the class action suit. I have contacted several attorneys who handle this type of case and all have declined taking it on. Does anyone know if there has been a suit filed yet by an individual or class?

Posted by: phyllis on December 12, 2005 09:38 AM
If anyone has information regarding this you can e-mail me at pmp1977@aol.com.

Posted by: phyllis on December 12, 2005 09:42 AM
The class action application was nixed by the judge on the grounds that the class was too “diverse” to proceed as a class action. Individual or multi-plaintiff cases may proceed forward, however. I know of 3-4 such cases proceeding in various courts nationwide.

I am at a total loss to understand why this issue, which so plainly involves serious injury to so many people, still has not garnered the attention it deserves from the government and press. The AP story of 12 July 2005 was a good start, but it failed to address adequately the human injury dimension of this matter. Marriages have been destroyed, business have gone under, retirements have been ruined, suicides have been attempted, and yet the issue languishes. If anyone has any ideas as to how to reawaken this matter and get it on the front page, I’m sure we’re all listening.

Posted by: angelo21122 on December 12, 2005 01:37 PM
Well, Angelo, I’m not giving up on getting more media coverage about this… I am writing to every publication that I can think of…. and I hope, that maybe if we “target” publications or media outlets with our stories, maybe one… even one… will listen and follow through.

Posted by: Peggy on December 12, 2005 03:43 PM
This is just a thought and perhaps not at all feasible, is there anyway all who read this board could sign a petition to one of our elected officals or the head of the FDA and ask them to read this board. It does not appear to me that our problems with requip and mirapex are all that diverse. It appears that most of us have had a tremenous gamgling affliction.

Posted by: kay on December 14, 2005 02:08 PM
Better yet, ask the good folks at Boehringer Ingelheim to read this board.

Posted by: Peggy on December 15, 2005 03:19 AM
Peggy: That’s a nice sentiment; however, answering to their stockholders is a far more serious matter than answering to us.

Posted by: angelo21122 on December 15, 2005 08:17 AM
Whoops– I think BI is family owned. Right then; answering to the Boehringer family is more serious than answering to us….

Posted by: angelo21122 on December 15, 2005 08:20 AM
I am currently speaking with Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P (National Law Firm). http://www.rkmc.com – they are going to be taking on some Mirapex cases (mine if they will have me). Also Wiley Law Office (www.wileylaw.net) a local missouri firm is taking Mirapex cases. They will also represent you if you live in another state. Neither one of these firms will be going for class action status. I think because the OCD is so varied from person to person (gambling, shopping, sex, etc etc etc) is why the class action was denied. What a crock! OCD is OCD oh Well.

Peggy – There is one thing…. I have been “mirapex clean” for three entire months now. My brain is completely CLEAN!!!!!! I can think again. I looked back at my post from thanksgiving, and I am amazed at what I wrote even then. Mirapex didn’t work THAT good. It worked some. I have Fibromyalgia and I am on a seizure medication now and it works 5x better than the Mirapex. It is sad though, looking back, I was in such a fog. I cannot believe how I acted. I shut everyone out of my life. My husband, my family – I have no friends left because I shut them all out. I still cannot believe how much a tiny pill…. ONE TINY PILL can change you. And that it could have been avoided…… that just makes me SICK!

Here is a question…. all the drug research that was done on Mirapex… does that become a part of public record? Can I call the FDA and request a copy?

Also, I have been emailing Oprah Winfrey every week asking her to do a special on Mirapex. I am going to add Dr. Phil and Montel to the list. If anyone wishes to join in my weekly email for publicity please do. I figure if we can just get 5 or 10 people sending emails each week SOMEONE has to listen SOMETIME!!!!!

Posted by: BRENDA FLEISCHMAN on December 15, 2005 11:30 PM
Brenda: Getting comprehensive info out of the FDA usually entails filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, which is best done through a lawyer, unfortunately. FOIA usually requires considerable specificity as to what you are requesting, and it takes months. Once you get enrolled with a law firm, they will probably file a FOIA action anyway, as part of their research.

Posted by: angelo21122 on December 15, 2005 11:53 PM
Brenda: Angelo is right about getting information about Mirapex from the FDA. The research that I am doing is on a little different track. Although I am compiling the readily available information on Mirapex that is in medical journals, I am also researching the role of dopamine in the brain, and what was known about dopamine and dopamine receptors. My reason for doing this is to learn what sorts of questions researchers SHOULD have been asking during clinical trials, based on available knowledge. I have only begun this research, so my “library of knowledge” is small right now, but I am already learning some things.

For example, take the Product Information that is published about Mirapex . Under Clinical Pharmacology, page1, it states that Mirapex “is a nonergot dopamine agonist with high in-vitro specificity and full intrinsic activity at the D2 subfamily of dopamine receptors, binding with higher affinity to D3 than to D2 or D4 receptor subtypes. The relevance of D3 receptor binding in Parkinson’s disease is unknown”.

Okay, that seems to mean that Mirapex binds more to the D3 receptor than to the D2 or D4 receptors in the brain, right? But it also means that it DOES bind to the D2 and D4 receptors as well, just not to the extent as the D3 receptor.

Well, one study authored by D.E. Comings showed “While studies of the molecular genetics of pathological gambling are just beginning, a number of interesting observations made to date are reviewed. As with other addictive behaviors, abnormalities in dopaminergic reward pathways are likely to be involved. Consistent with this, we have observed a significant association between pathological gambling and the dopamine D1 (DRD1), dopamine D2 (DRD2), dopamine D3 (DRD3) and dopamine D4 (DRD4) genes.”

Do you see a correlation here???? Seems like they’re talking about the same D2-D3-D4 receptors.

I gleaned this information from an abstract, and have ordered the full article.

Posted by: Peggy on December 16, 2005 09:57 AM
Peggy – You Go GIRL!!!!! As my neice would say. I spent 45 minutes on the phone with the lead attorney from Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P (National Law Firm). http://www.rkmc.com – they expect to have over 200 Mirapex clients by Mid-January. Very professional law firm. They are representing people from all over the country. I was very impressed. The attorney told me flat out he thought the Mirapex deal was a load of crap until he started reading more and more about it and heard people’s stories on it. He has also done some research (similiar to yours Peggy) and now wholeheartedly believes that Mirapex causes all of this crap. So, I now feel that there is hope for some sort of national acknowledgement. One thing for sure, once this firm files lawsuits, I firmly believe this will start making national headlines.

Posted by: Brenda on December 16, 2005 06:17 PM
While RKMC and other firms busily sign up new clients, Boehringer is extremely busy pushing Mirapex for Restless Leg Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. I get the vague sensation of sitting in a wheatfield watching two trains speeding towards each other at 100 mph for a head-on collision. Time will tell…..

Posted by: angelo21122 on December 16, 2005 11:38 PM
I clipped this article out of the June 20, 2005 issue of the Globe and Mail. Only now does It make sense after reading -Peggy’s (December 16, 2005 09:57 AM) article a few days ago about the receptors. The article was titled “ ROMANTIC LOVE IS BIOLOGICAL, SCIENTISTS SAY. It is distinct from sexual arousal, MRI scans reveal.” Three doctors in New York analyzed about 2.500 brain images from 17 college students involved in love affairs. I will move on to the part that we are interested in and quote directly from Benedict Carey’s article.

“In the study, a computer-generated map of particularly active areas showed hot spots deep in the brain, below conscious awareness, in areas called the caudate nucleus and the ventral tegmental area, which communicate with each other as part of a circuit.
These areas are dense with cells that produce or receive a brain chemical called dopamine, which circulates actively when people desire or anticipate a reward. In studies of gamblers. cocaine users and even people playing computer games for small amounts of money, these dopamine sites become extremely active as people score or win, neuroscientists say.”
Do these drug companies think we are stupid???? That we won’t catch on to them eventually???? Do we all have to become brain specialists and scientists so we can study up on the drugs we are prescribed.???? Are we on the right track?
Irene
Posted by: Irene on December 18, 2005 07:55 PM
I go crazy over the following scenerio:

1. The drug companies vigorously deny that dopamine agonists are implicated in gambling/OCD.

2. As a result of the compulsive gambling/OCD caused by dopamine agonists, new, revealing inroads are made into the physiology of compulsive behavior.

3. The drug companies develop treatments for OCD based on these inroads.

4. The drug companies make millions, all while repeating the denials made in #1.

Only in America….

Posted by: angelo21122 on December 19, 2005 11:00 AM
You are right on with the crazy scenario – glad others see it the same way I do

Posted by: rkrk on December 19, 2005 12:29 PM
ps – has anyone seen the Sundance Film “Dopamine”? Check it out – it’s interesting

Posted by: rkrk on December 19, 2005 05:53 PM
There is interesting information regarding dopamine agonists in the book “Parkinson’s Disease A Complete Guide to Patients and Families” by Weiner, Shulman, and Lang – John Hopkins Press – especially pages 166- 169. (copyright 2001)

Posted by: rkrk on December 21, 2005 10:57 AM
To read some startling Zoloft parallels to our own experiences, go to http://www.woodymatters.com , and click on “What we wish we knew”. Pfizer and the FDA; the same, sad, old story.

Posted by: angelo21122 on December 24, 2005 10:31 AM
i have been diagnosed with eop and have been taking mirapax for three years. i have been giving intio the urge to gamble again with no regard to the impact on my wife . i am at a loss how i got into this nightmare. it has just come out and i fear that i have crossed the line.

i am very sorry.

Posted by: hugh malcolm on December 27, 2005 07:26 PM
Dear Mr. Malcom: I am not familiar with “EOP”, but the main thing is to stop the Mirapex, under your doctor’s supervision, as soon as possible. Nothing else , as many of us can attest to, can resolve the situation. Even knowing it’s Mirapex doing this to you will not help–you have to stop the drug. Again, see your doctor about this immediately.

Posted by: angelo21122 on December 27, 2005 08:20 PM
eop is early onset parkinson’s. i will and thanks. a bit late, perhaps but i need to start somewhere. this is the lowest point for me and i need to stop the freefall. again thanks.

Posted by: hugh malcolm on December 27, 2005 10:17 PM
The following new studies were recently cited by the “Ask the Doctor” team at the National Parkinson’s Foundation in response to queries from subscribers about dopamine agonists and compulsive behavior:

Mov Disord. 2005 Oct 31; [Epub ahead of print] Related Articles, Links

Compulsive eating and weight gain related to dopamine agonist use.
Nirenberg MJ, Waters C.
Division of Movement Disorders, Department of Neurology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York, USA.
Dopamine agonists have been implicated in causing compulsive behaviors in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). These have included gambling, hypersexuality, hobbyism, and other repetitive, purposeless behaviors (“punding”). In this report, we describe 7 patients in whom compulsive eating developed in the context of pramipexole use. All of the affected patients had significant, undesired weight gain; 4 had other comorbid compulsive behaviors. In the 5 patients who lowered the dose of pramipexole or discontinued dopamine agonist treatment, the behavior remitted and no further weight gain occurred. Physicians should be aware that compulsive eating resulting in significant weight gain may occur in PD as a side-effect of dopamine agonist medications such as pramipexole. Given the known risks of the associated weight gain and obesity, further investigation is warranted. (c) 2005 Movement Disorder Society.

Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2005 Sep;11(6):381-6. Related Articles, Links

Pathological hypersexuality predominantly linked to adjuvant dopamine agonist therapy in Parkinson’s disease and multiple system atrophy.
Klos KJ, Bower JH, Josephs KA, Matsumoto JY, Ahlskog JE.
Department of Neurology, Division of Movement Disorders, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA. kklos@tulsacoxmail.com
Pathological hypersexuality developed in 13 patients with PD and two patients ultimately diagnosed clinically with MSA. Hypersexuality began within 8 months after starting dopamine agonist therapy in 14 of 15 cases, including four on agonist monotherapy. It resolved in the four cases where the agonist was stopped, despite continued levodopa therapy. This was not an isolated behavioral problem in most, with additional compulsive or addictive behaviors coinciding in nine patients (60%). A systematic literature review of pathological hypersexuality in PD revealed similar medication histories; combining these cases with our series, 26 of 29 patients (90%) were on adjuvant dopamine agonists.
Posted by: angelo21122 on December 28, 2005 10:12 AM
Dear Mr. Malcom: Angelo is absolutly right, knowing the drug is causing the problem will not change your behavior, when I found out that mirapex “could” cause obsessive gambling I was certain I could control myself…NO WAY…YOU DO NOT control these drugs they control you. I thought I was a strong minded person what a laugh these drugs wrap around your brain like a viper, you must give them up completely, Compared to what some of the folks who write on this board I was never on a high dosage 1.5 twice a day..apparently some of us are susceptible to even low dosages.

Kay

Posted by: kay on December 28, 2005 10:34 AM
About 6 weeks ago I spoke with an attorney in the Seattle area regarding the potential of filing suit against Boehringer Ingelheim. Well, apparently the good man has been doing his homework, for he e-mailed me today, and wants to meet with me next week, along with anyone else interested in a named, multi plaintiff lawsuit. Is there anyone else out there who wants to meet with him? His name is Robert Jackson, and his phone number is 425.451.1400 or you can e-mail me at mooseman53@comcast.net

Posted by: Peggy on December 28, 2005 09:19 PM
I just want to add for others information that I too was on a very low dose .75 three times daily and still suffered all the ill effects of compulsive gambling. I remember reading somewhere on the internet (can’t find it again) that those suffering from depression were more sensitive to dopamine agonists. It appears to be true in my case.

Posted by: Cindy on December 29, 2005 12:09 AM
Go to newsinferno.com to see the Dec 29 news release about mirapex and gambling!

Posted by: daniel on December 29, 2005 11:31 AM
Excellent article!

Posted by: Cindy on December 29, 2005 01:59 PM
It is excellent, and with more emphasis on the human tragedies dopamine agonists have caused than I have seen in most reporting.

Today I have sent the article to several investigative reporters I have been able to scrounge email addresses for.

Posted by: angelo21122 on December 29, 2005 02:05 PM
Take it with a grain of salt, but I found this on the Internet- it may be worth the read.

http://www.parkinsons-success.com/

Posted by: Peggy on January 3, 2006 03:56 AM
MP/01/08/06

Happy New Year to all you Mirapex survivors!

It’s been over fourteen months since I’ve been off of Mirapex and it’s taken that long to get the drug residuals out of my system, recuperate, and recover from the shock. I stopped taking Mirapex 11/15/05 (through my own intuition) and it wasn’t until 01/03/06 that I started to truly feel like my normal self again. The underlying feeling blue all the time (and periodic episodes of depression) has lifted (I’m not on any anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications). The worst side effect of Mirapex, of course, was the $300,000 spending spree, the 10,000 photos I took, and the ten businesses I started but other side effects were devastating as well: constant anxiety, couldn’t sit still, short-tempered, blamed everyone and everything else for my problems, tears streaming down my face for no real reason, loss of appetite which resulted in weight loss, joint stiffness in the elbows, geographic tongue, ankle swelling, hair turned gray, I had a constant grimace on my face, lost the ability to spell (honest!), went to bed very late, got up early and was raring to go, would wake up with my fingers in a contracted state, and chronic short term memory loss. I also discovered that I have several episodes of amnesia – people have told me about things I did while I was on Mirapex that I don’t remember at all. All of these side effects have disappeared. Looking back on the experience I felt like I was constantly manic 24/7/365 days for 3 and a half years, I felt like I was on speed (I could walk really fast!), I felt like I had ADHD (like Billy in Family Circle), and had obsessive-compulsive disorder all rolled into one! And there still is no black box warning on the prescription bottle – the somnolence (I would instantly fall asleep at church and watching television – on road trips I had to take frequent naps at rest stops!) alone is a major problem without adding all of these other problems, too! Mirapex has got to be the most radical drug on the open market. And what does the medical industry want to do? Harness these radical side effects and tweak them to produce new drugs. Never mind an apology for the damage done to those of us who have experienced such severe adverse reactions . It’s just business as usual. Rather feeling like a guinea pig I feel like a commodity. For those of you just getting off of Mirapex hang in there – life does get better eventually.
Posted by: rkrk on January 8, 2006 04:32 PM
Thanks for the info and the encouragement! I hope 2006 is a better year for all of us. You mentioned memory problems which I also experienced. Do you ever feel like you didn’t really do all those things? That is until you look at your bank account or lack of! Sometimes to me it is almost like it never happened except for all the financial ruin. Who was I then???

Posted by: Cindy on January 8, 2006 06:50 PM
There’s an old saying that applies directly to our past situations with these drugs: “A fish doesn’t know that it’s wet.” When I was solidly in the grip of Mirapex, gambling every day, all day, seemed like the most natural thing in the world. Although my finances were crashing all around me, I routinely appeared early in the morning at Harrah’s “ready for action,” ATM and credit cards in hand, eager to hit “the big one.” Trouble is, even though I would, very rarely, hit a large jackpot, it all went back into the casino’s pocket quickly. Not till after I read the Stacy report and stopped using the drug did reality punch through the fog–and then it was excruciating. Truly, an “out of character experience.” I really don’t know who or what I was for those two years.

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 8, 2006 07:16 PM
yeah…it’s like someone else took up residence for awhile!

Posted by: rkrk on January 8, 2006 07:17 PM
That probably sums it up! But if someone else was me, where was I? Or was it like Angelo said earlier something about the brain being hijacked to Pluto? During the “Mirapex Time” gambling 10 to 12 hours a day everyday, week after week, month after month didn’t seem out of line to me either. I could be showered, dressed, make-up on and at the casino at 4AM every morning. Rain, hail, snow nothing stopped me. Almost nothing will pry me out of my warm bed now at that hour. Makes me tired just thinking about it! This experience has made me a lot more afraid of taking medication and shows just how much isn’t known about the brain. The reluctance of people to believe and understand our experience with this drug just underscores that fact. Thanks for the response, I always check this board and am disapointed if there is nothing new to read. Even among all the dismal experiences there is encouragement and sometimes a laugh, even if it is usually at our expense.

Posted by: Cindy on January 9, 2006 03:07 AM
I say nothing will get me out of bed but here I am posting in the wee hours! OK so I’m having a little trouble sleeping lately…….

Posted by: Cindy on January 9, 2006 03:14 AM
It’s encouraging to see websites like the one the law firm of Parker Waichman has set up at http://www.mirapexgambling.com. Word is definitely getting out. We have come a very long way since Aug of 2003 when the Stacy study was issued; yet there is such a distance to go, and such a battle to be fought.

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 9, 2006 11:32 AM
yes.this is my site http://www.hallkidstales.com/didrex/didrex_with_free_shipping.html Thanks.

Posted by: didrex injectable hgh on January 9, 2006 01:38 PM
Like Cindy I check the board everyday for anything new. I also stayed up all night watching TV or sewing I didn’t sleep in my bed for 2 years fell asleep for a few hours and was up for the day by 4am, very often I would have to turn my radio to full blast and open all my windows, or put the top down on my car so I would’nt fall asleep while I was driving. Also, I was always someone who hated playing any sort of games. On mirapex I became addicted to playing spider solitare on the computer, at work and home so much that I developed carpel tunnel syndrome, so painful that I had it operated on last year.(still played until I quit the mirapex) now I can’t stand playing -can anything be more boring!! ? Also, I would forget the names of the most common objects like PAPER TOWELS or STAPLERS I thought I was showing signs of senility. So I didn’t tell anyone about it. I really didn’t see the connection until reading rkrk’s posting. What is really amazing I thought I needed mirapex to sleep, when in actuality it was causing insommnia. I am now on clonopin and sleep a normal 8 hours. Please if anyone has had any adnormal behaviors while on clonopin, PLEASE PLEASE will you post it here,

Posted by: kay on January 9, 2006 02:15 PM
The oddest thing about staying up all night sewing is, I CAN’T sew, bought a sewing machine, bunches of material and went to town, broke 2 needles, and some other “little parts”. A NORMAL person might have considered taking a lesson or two on the correct operation of an expensive piece of equipment-but what the hey I was any day going to win BIG, my horoscope has promised me a big win on the lotto, a windfall in fact.

Posted by: kay on January 9, 2006 02:48 PM
I urge everyone who has experienced the living hell Mirapex has put us through to retain an attorney. May I also suggest to do so right away as every state differs on statue of limitations. In addition, I have chosen to use the largest law firm I was able to find as I felt my chances were better with a firm that had lots of lawyers and lots of resources to fight Boehinger’s incredible wealth. Don’t get mad–get even!

Posted by: daniel on January 9, 2006 10:35 PM
I urge everyone who has experienced the living hell Mirapex has put us through to retain an attorney. May I also suggest to do so right away as every state differs on statue of limitations. In addition, I have chosen to use the largest law firm I was able to find as I felt my chances were better with a firm that had lots of lawyers and lots of resources to fight Boehinger’s incredible wealth. Don’t get mad–get even!

Posted by: daniel on January 9, 2006 10:42 PM
Daniel: What firm are you using?

Also, someone told me that last night’s episode of “Las Vegas” (I’ve never seen it. Wonder why!) had as part of the storyline dopamine agonists, with one of the characters talking at a GA meeting saying his gambling had increased once he started taking medicine for his “tremors.” Sounds like the word is getting out, at least to Hollywood. Does anyone know any more about this?

Posted by: Barbara on January 10, 2006 05:30 PM
I’m not at all surprised Hollywood has picked up on this, after the all-too-brief flurry of publicity that followed the Mayo Clinic study of last July. Also, don’t forget that Jay Leno mentioned “the drug that makes you gamble” in his opening monologue one night, saying that it was on sale in Las Vegas–not by drugstores, but by the casinos. (Groan…)

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 10, 2006 06:28 PM
http://www.i5net.net/~i5pages/i5pagesnonaccount/ilosaki/voyeursdot/danqc/blue.html boardsooneststyle

Posted by: dew on January 10, 2006 09:39 PM
As you can probably tell by the time, I am having a pretty hideous night. Sometimes the whole experience, when I consider it in aggregate–losing tons of money, the daily routine of 2-3 trips to the casinos, the endless lying to my family, all the careful saving and investing for the future and our retirement gone down the toilet–and of course Boehringer’s and Pfizer’s strident bald-faced denials–it’s just too much. I cannot even stand to think about it; and we’re nowhere near any (possible) resolution. This boggles my poor, drug-scarred mind no end. Nightly, I pray for us all.

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 14, 2006 04:50 AM
As many of you have commented, I look at this board every day, and am disappointed when there are no new posts…. i guess that each note written here gives hope, encouragement, and a bit more education on the subject. I also can connect some of my behaviours to the posts- some things that I had not thought of before, but instantly recognize when I see them in print.

Daniel….. I, too, have decided to sue as an individual, and not be part of a class action suit. I tried every large law firm in Seattle and was turned down due to “conflict of interest”, but I DID contact a smaller firm in Bellevue (on the Eastside) as soon as the Azizi law firm was denied class action status. The attorney I talked with, Bob Jackson, said he’d get back to me. Weeks went by with no response from him. Then, lo and behold, he e-mailed me just before Christmas… he had been doing some research, saw merit in the case, and we have met a few times since then. What I like about his firm is their belief in me, the belief that Mirapex screwed a whole bunch of us, and their comittment to the case. Certainly, they don’t seem to be after “the big bucks” because I am only one person, although I did post on this board, asking if other Washingtonians were out there, willing to join me.
I guess that if there ARE others in this area, they have given up, or want the relative anonymity of being part of a “class”, because I got no response. I DID get a chuckle at the end of our first visit when I picked up his business card and saw that it was the same firm that my husband used during our “almost” divorce! (I didn’t know that at the time I called him…..)

As far as our recovery goes… it seems to be a slow process, but I’d rather have slow progress than none at all. But I still hate the days when all of the hurts and memories of my behaviour come flooding back.

I am still trying, on almost a daily basis, to garner media interest from anyone… sometimes I think that the advertising dollars speak louder than us. I mean, after all, with the Requip ads on TV (and soon, Mirapex will be joining them touting a “cure” for Restless Legs), they don’t seem to want those dollars threatened. I’m thinking that the National Enquirer may be our best bet— but I haven’t figured out how to grow a second head yet! (ha ha ha)

Posted by: Peggy on January 14, 2006 08:16 AM
It’s possible we had a second head since none of know where our own heads were while on Mirapex. Honestly, that would only be a little more bizzare than what we have been through.

Posted by: Cindy on January 14, 2006 10:50 PM
I, too, have been talking with Robins, Kaplan, Miller, & Ciresi. So far, I like them very much–about 175 attorneys in five locations throughout the US. In addition, one of those locations is in Minnesota where the Mayo Clinic is. The Mayo Clinic’s sterling reputation is held in even higher esteem–if that is possible–there. I am in California, and the law firm has offices in LA, too.

Occasionally, I detect a beaten down tone in some of our comments. I feel that way too occasionally; yet, we cannot let the drug companies get away with this terrible crime. You know and I know what a hell they put us through. My PD condition has certainly gotten worse due to the horrific stress Mirapex put me through. Unfortunately, that stress continues due to the financial and emotion mess Mirapex caused. We all have lost respect, fortunes, businesses, loved ones, and health. The few years we had left have been marred by a nightmare that few people understand and fewer believe; yet, remember when you did not know what was propelling the manic existence we lived? Do no give up hope. Yes, it is going to be a long road ahead, but we have gone more than half way already. Think where we were before the Stacey report or the Mayo report. Our case was one that no lawyer would take. Now law firms are advertising for our business. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP!!!

Posted by: daniel on January 15, 2006 07:34 PM
rkrk, thanks for sharing the effects of Mirapex. We share many of them, but also differ on a few. The drug caused excessive drowsiness with my falling asleep sitting in the sunshine at a traffic light; yet, I was unable to sleep at night for more than two or three hours–many nights I did not close my eyes at all. I led a manic existence for three and a half years. Excessive weight gain–one night I ate 12 super-sized Snickers bars! Tell me I was not crazy! I am 6 feet tall and had never weight more than 165 before Mirapex. Now I look like the Pillsbury dough boy. I, too, had a constant grimace. Inability to carry on a conversation. I, too, lost the ability to spell even though I had been a teacher and well educated. Compulsive gambling–the most devestating of all. Reckless behavior–I would turn left in front of cars just to see if I could make it. Tears would stream down my face for no apparent reason. I could read a Hallmark card and tear up. I felt drugged all the time–zombie-like. I had experiences where I felt almost “out of body” where I was looking down on myself as someone else doing these things.

I think making people who go to this site aware of the different effects Mirapex has had on us all is very beneficial. Please share. Thanks!

Posted by: daniel on January 15, 2006 08:07 PM
here’s another interesting potential side effect I was unaware of (from the NPF’s Ask the Doctor forum) :

Subject: retinal surgery
From: “Anonymous”
Date: Sat, 14 Jan 2006 14:29:08 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
X-Message-Number: 4

I am due to have retinal surgery. I was diagnosed 8 yrs ago and am on 1mg. mirapex2 times a day and .25 mirapex 1 time a day. i am on Sinemet 25/100 3 a day also.have noticed that I have been getting light headed llately. Could this be due to Mirapex? Am really worried about surgery and what may happen. Any thoughts as to what I could do would be helpful.Thanks Doris

*********

Dear Doris,

I am not sure. There have been reports (mostly pre-clinical) that suggests that mirapex may potentially damage the retina. There have been no conclusive human reports on this so far, but there is a clinical trial looking at this (it should be almost done….we should be hearing from them soon). I cannot give you a definitive answer, and I do presecribe mirapex to my patients with minimal concern on retinal damage, but given that you will be having retinal surgery, in my opinion, in your case alone, it might be best to avoid the medication.

Yours, Hubert H. Fernandez
———————————————————————-

Posted by: rkrk on January 16, 2006 03:15 PM
Besides the daily manic gambling, Mirapex caused me to chow down at any McD’s or Burger King that I happened to drive past at any time of the day or night, to the tune of 50 additional pounds. The weirdest effect, however, was in regard to my sleeping habits. I would routinely come very drowsy in the early evenings, barely able to keep my head up. If I decided to go ahead and lie down for a nap, I found I could not fall asleep, no matter how drowsy I was. All in all, the “benefits” of the drug were far outweighed by the negative issues–like nearly going bankrupt. The advertizing campaign under way to push this poison for Restless Leg Syndrome is simply nauseating. I wonder how many unsuspecting souls there are who will be horribly affected.

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 16, 2006 05:54 PM
I experienced the opposite. I dropped weight quickly and had trouble for awhile keeping my weight up! Needless to say that wasn’t the bad side effect. (I have gained 20 lbs in the almost 6 months I have been off the drug.) I slept well, my legs didn’t bother me, I woke up with good energy, could work circles around others, was no longer depressed and was so happy for the first time in years. I guess that was the reaction to a depressed and dopamine starved brain when it was flooded by Mirapex induced dopamine. I realize now there were a lot of things I should have been sad about but wasn’t. Even as I was getting a divorce after 30 yrs, shoving money down a slot machine as fast as possible, spending my entire savings and then going into debt I was still “happy”. The only time I was really unhappy was when I had to account for what I had done and saw the anguish that I was causing those I loved but that was quickly shoved way, way back in my mind and again I was “happy”. I did have a different attention span or lack of for some things. I couldn’t watch a 30 minute TV program, or read a book. While I have never been much of a TV person I have always been a voracious reader. Even after what the doctor termed “a difficult hysterectomy” I could not stay down. I would go outside, do yard work and lift things when I knew I shouldn’t. I am also just now realizing some of these things and wonder how many other things I might recognize in the future as an effect of Mirapex.

Posted by: Cindy on January 17, 2006 02:07 AM
Two things:

1. Everyone be sure that you and your attorneys note the two studies I posted on 28 Dec at 10:12AM regarding dopamine agonists and their effect on hypersexuality and food appetite.

2. Daniel: Thanks for the shot in the arm.

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 17, 2006 05:32 AM
Two things:

1. Everyone be sure that you and your attorneys note the two studies I posted on 28 Dec at 10:12AM regarding dopamine agonists and their effect on hypersexuality and food appetite.

2. Daniel: Thanks for the shot in the arm.

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 17, 2006 05:33 AM
I also gained 35 lbs. while on mirapex, I may have mentioned before that I was a weight control instructor for 10 years and maintained a consistent weight for over 40 years when I started to gain, I assumed it was because I was retired and getting older, but I would bake and eat an entire cake or a whole box of candy, I never seemed to be too full to eat. I would just finish eating lunch and if there was candy, ice cream or cookies I would eat it until it was gone, it was nothing for me to eat a whole quart of ice cream in an evening. I was always hungry. Also this may be an inane comment but I remember before taking mirapex I used to dream everynight and I would remember at least snatches or parts of my dreams, I do not recall dreaming for the past several years. It is only in the past few weeks that I wake up from a dream or remember dreaming. About a month ago my co-workers were discussing the dreams they had the previous night, and I recall saying I never dream. I guess when you sleep as little as I did you don’t dream. Guys, some of you sound so discouraged–don’t give up right now all we have is each other and hope. We all have had some weird things happen to us, never thought I’d be this broke and fat, I am for the first time in my adult life without a checkbook, credit card, ATM card, I turn all my money over to my husband and I ask him for money even for a pair of stockings or a lipstick. I don’t blame him for not trusting me, but I still feel like a kid on an allowance. I see where the state of New Jersey is going to ban smoking in all public places EXCEPT the CASINO’S gotta keep those gamblers happy and spending. I wish the very best to all of you, I don’t use the term “good
l–k ” any more it reminds me too much of gambling.

Kay

Posted by: Kay on January 17, 2006 10:22 AM
Regarding the allowing of smoking in New Jersey casinos– Smoking is known to increase dopamine levels in the brain….So, could there be a method to their madness???

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 17, 2006 10:43 AM
I used to tell my weight control class “I’d rather be poor than fat”, well guess what now I’m both

Posted by: Kay on January 17, 2006 10:50 AM
just a couple more other side effects I notioced as well ….I didn’t dream anymore either, developed raynaud’s in my left toes (toes went radish white), didn’t register pain sensations (I cut myself pretty badly with the cheese slicer and didn’t feel it – hence now I understand why they prescribe mirapex for fibromygalia pain) and I wasn’t sensitive to the heat or the cold — what a bizarre drug this is – I know we need to keep our chins up and look at the bright side but just for the record I think it helps to share all of the side effects we experienced.

Posted by: rkrk on January 17, 2006 11:41 AM
Peggy, that is one of the things that bothers me the most! Being reduced to a person who can barely be trusted with $5.00. It seems all of us were financially responsible people who worked hard their entire lives only to be humiliated by the effects of Mirapex. Which would certainly be much easier to handle if it weren’t for the fact that most people don’t believe us. Of course that also is what the manufacturer wants and is just one more thing to add to the list of damages from them. I still really hesitate to tell anyone of my experience. I find myself trying to explain while they have a look that says I just don’t believe it. I had an elder in my church tell me that he had seen similiar things many times before and brushed it off. He also said before I could be allowed to be a member of the church again he “wanted to make sure I didn’t go back on the drug and that I didn’t have some mental problem down the the road caused by it”. It was like he thought I had went out and knowingly bought an illegal recreational drug and this was all my own fault! Ignore the fact that the drug was prescribed for me be a specialist and I took it in good faith hoping to get well. But this is exactly the type of idiocy that we will all have to deal with for perhaps quit awhile. The longer I am off of this drug the more convinced I am that it was responsible for ending my marriage. How could it not? When the area of the brain that this drug influences is the area of emotion, pleasure, risk taking, reward seeking. If it could make me do the other bizzare things it did, how could it not effect my life in that way too? Now I am plagued with thoughts that my marriage didn’t have to end and that our 4 kids could still be coming home to the house they were raised in to see both their parents at the same time. Was the divorce my decision or was that decision taken away from me? Is my ex-husband a victim of Mirapex? I am thinking more and more that he is.

Posted by: Cindy on January 17, 2006 02:25 PM
Cindy – my heart goes out to you – it was the Mirapex – my husband told me that he was comtemplating divorce while I was on Mirapex – I got off the drug just in time to salvage my marriage. It is hard especially rebuilding credibility. I, too, feel like I am on an allowance and have to to justify every expense.

We really need a support group or a get together somehow – anyone have any ideas?

Posted by: rkrk on January 17, 2006 02:41 PM
How many live on the West Coast? I live in Oregon.

Posted by: Cindy on January 17, 2006 05:18 PM
I live in California.

Posted by: rkrk on January 17, 2006 05:57 PM
I should have listened to my body because eventually just thinking about taking Mirapex would make me almost throw up. For the last year or so I was on the drug, I had a terrible time just getting the pills down. Did anyone else expeerience this?

Posted by: daniel on January 17, 2006 07:14 PM
It would be really great if we could somehow all get together, It appears that we all live in different parts of the country tho. I live in Pennsylvania. This board has been a life saver for me. If it weren’t for you guys, I’d be either dead or in an institution. I feel as if you are all my friends, and I swear I am not crazy anymore,
Bless you all!

Posted by: Kay on January 17, 2006 08:57 PM
I live in Idaho. Cindy

Posted by: Steve on January 17, 2006 10:48 PM
Ok…. California, Oregon and Idaho are not too removed from each other. Pennsylvania is a bit farther. Let’s keep talking. How many are signed with an attorney? or at least talking with one? I am talking with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi and hope to hear something later this week. Kay, I don’t think any of us is Crazy. What IS crazy is what has happened to us and that the maker of this drug is still getting away with ruining lives and not having to accept the responsibility for it. How long do you think you could get away with causing that much havoc in just one persons life? The first post on this site was on my birthday two and half years ago! But I didn’t find out until almost two years later. So much pain and suffering could have been prevented had the company stepped up to the plate then, but they sat back and quietly withheld information that we needed, while continuing to pocket huge sums of money. It really is sickening what they have done and continue to do.

Posted by: Cindy on January 18, 2006 02:16 AM
Well, I am in the Seattle area of Washington state….. again, not too far removed from Cali, Oregon and Idaho. Although I contacted RKMC about the class action suit, and received their packet of materials, I have decided to file suit individually, as mentioned in an earlier post, although a few additional plaintiffs would be welcomed. Our planned strategy does not include a large number of plaintiffs, for a number of reasons, which I would be glad to detail personally…. but not in this forum.

If you are in limbo as to what is best for you to do , consider looking at both angles… the large class action suit or the smaller (but no less committed to the cause and just as intelligently researched) individual ,or named multi plaintiff lawsuit. But do SOMETHING!

Posted by: Peggy on January 18, 2006 07:01 AM
Cindy………… how can I get in touch with you? Please send me an e-mail at mooseman53@comcast.net with contact info, if you don’t mind!

Posted by: Peggy on January 18, 2006 09:41 AM
I have signed with RKMC, I talked with a few other law firms who were very sympathetic to our grieviences and I received a form wanting some information from another, however RKMC was the only one who followed through with an actual agreement. I just finished filling out a lengthy questionnaire for their information. I also like the fact that any time I call them I get to speak to a “real” person, if I must leave a message, I get a call back in a very short time.

Posted by: Kary on January 18, 2006 09:47 AM
Sorry I spelled my name wrong above.
Just one question and I will shut up for awhile, I know I have been posting everyday, well here is my question. How many of you are on sinement, is there any adverse afects (GAMBLING) in particular. I am now on clonopin one of the side affects is sore gums, I now have sore gums I evidently get every side affect there is from every drug I take. I surely would like to keep my teeth. I really need something for my RLS I tried all the naturall things I ever heard of including, chirapractors and acupunture, tons of very expensive magnesium tablets B-12, and other vitamins. After 3 weeks of jerking and jumping I gave up and took the clonopin, I guess I’ll have to find something else. Please help!

Posted by: KAY on January 18, 2006 10:23 AM
Kay– After dropping the Mirapex in Aug of 2003 (when the Stacy report was issued), the gambling stopped cold in about three days. I tried taking only half-doses, but the gambling resumed until I dropped the Mirapex again completely. I switched to Sinemet and Comtan, and had no further problems with gambling whatsoever. Have not even thought of placing any kind of wager for nearly two years now. The only problems I have had with Sinemet is the (very) occasional upset stomach. I would not touch Mirapex again if you paid me a million dollars.

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 18, 2006 11:28 AM
Angelo, Thank you for the information may I ask what dosage you are on, I have a Dr. appointment next week and I think I’ll need to get off the clonopin I also have a dentist appointment to assure that it is the meds causing my gums to be sore. As far as the million dollars for taking mirapex, I agree, it wouldn’t last long in our hands if we were taking mirapex anyway, although a casino might be a million richer.
Posted by: Kay on January 18, 2006 12:33 PM
Kay– I am on Sinemet for Parkinson’s, and I take (usually) 300mg (100mg immediate release; 200mg extended release) three times a day, along with 200mg of Comtan three times a day. (The Comtan is meant to maximize the duration of the Sinemet.)

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 18, 2006 12:50 PM
I am so relieved, yet sad to find this message page. I just found out that my Dad lost his entire life savings (around 600,00.00 ballpark) while living under my roof!..He has always been so rational and honest & then not to have any warning but to find out he has nothing. I am so sad for him. I feel so bad for all of the victims and families that these drugs have ruined – I can not even begin to add anything new. I have my fathers last and final possetion, a diamond ring, that I keep on my finger so he can’t get it. The big issue is the 90,000.00 he nows owes the IRS after taking out his life savings and blowing it away. Does anyone know if the IRS would be understanding if they see proof of this? Does anyone know of a lawyer in the Dallas area that is forming a class action suit in this area? If so, please advise! I am an only child and have 3 children of my own and despiratly want to help my Dad and save his reputation!

Posted by: Laura Neill on January 18, 2006 09:17 PM
Ms. Neill: The main thing is to see his doctor as soon as possible and get him OFF whichever dopamine agonist (Mirapex, Requip, Permax) he’s taking. The gambling WILL NOT STOP until he is off the drug completely. I am afraid to give tax advice. Regarding the enrollment in a lawsuit, I’m sure the other members of the forum can weigh in with advice on a law firm taking clients from Texas. But remember, nothing will improve until he’s off the drug.

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 19, 2006 12:26 AM
I too had problems keeping the Mirapex down when I first started taking it. I now take 25/100 sinemet every 2-1/2 hours and comtan 4/day. I have adjust quit well to this but there are times it is hard. I thank god that I got to the Mayo Clinic when I did and got off the Mirapex. I have been taking permax from 1997-2000 and then was put on Mirapex until may 2005. Both permax and mirapex created the behavior but it was mirapex that put me over the top. I don’t know how I made it alive as long as I did. When my husband kicked me out and I lost custody of my girls, I was staying with anyone I could find. I went from an respected County Employee to a loser with no self-respect. I still can’t believe it was me. I have lost 58 lbs so far, although it is great to see it gone, and getting a little scared as to losing to much..lol (can’t believe I would ever have to say that..lol)

I still am having a hard time with all the guilt and seeing moms with their kids just breaks my heart. I am going to be 45 and am glad to be off the Mirapex but still can’t get my parents on down to talk to me yet. Maybe someday I hope.

Thanks for listening and god bless you all.

Posted by: Theresa Seaman on January 19, 2006 01:04 AM
Teresa, copy these pages and send them to your parents to read. If that does not work, let me know and I will ask a Holy Sister who had the same Mirapex nightmare as the rest of us to write them. Have comfort in knowing that you are NOT to blame.

Posted by: daniel on January 19, 2006 07:53 AM
Ms. Neill: Go to Google, retrieve on the terms Mirapex litigation. You will see a number of law firms such as Parker Waichman and RKMC, some of whom are taking clients from all across the nation.

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 19, 2006 08:09 AM
Just out of curiousity has anyone experienced an electrical feeling while on Mirapex? I had this a few times when I would lift my bird cage and I would feel an electric current running along my back which would end in an electrical shock-like sensation.

Posted by: rkrk on January 19, 2006 06:38 PM
Thank you for your comments – I will follow the direction. I talked to a local lawyer today – and fortunatly the IRS bill may not be nearly as big as I thought (best news in the last couple of days!) Now I need to see if the Casino will have any sympathy – God willing the financial complications may be workable. I am just worried about the emotional aspect. I love my Dad and I respect and always respect him. I understand (moreso after reading this message board) what he is going through – I just wish he could have trusted me to ask for help earlier..I feel so bad for other families who may have to go through this. I feel so bad for the parents who loose their children. I will keep checking this board for any advise or assistance – and if I can help anyone, I will. GOOD Luck to all of you who have suffered and I pray for each and every one of you!

Posted by: Laura Neill on January 19, 2006 07:34 PM
My son has been taking Abilify for almost 2 years. He started gambling with scratch-offs last year uncontrollably. When they increased his abilify to double, he stopped gambling, but had to drop out of college as he was out of it and couldn’t work on his school papers. Eventually the dosage was lowered to 2.5 over a period of time. He still didn’t go back to gambling. but other symptoms started returning. When it was increased up to 10, he once again was able to function and felt alot better and could concentrate, but he went back to the scratch-offs. My son has been stealing and lying to us and his girlfriend. He was always such an honest person and would never do anything like this in the past. If he was to go off the Abilify, I don’t know what else he could take. Before Abilify he was on Risperdal and couldn’t tolerate any dosage larger than that for a 5 year old. He did terrible on it. We don’t know what to do for him and feel terrible seeing the way his life is headed. His doctors don’t seem to know about any correlation between his medicine and gambling. They put him on zoloft to control the urges, but that hasn’t helped. We don’t know where to turn. He only just tured 20 years old with his whole life ahead of him.

Posted by: Rosemarie on January 22, 2006 12:52 PM
I don’t know how practical or feasible this might be, but you might consider a visit to the Mayo Clinic. Several doctors/researchers at that institution seem to be “onboard” concerning the possibility that certain drugs can cause obsessive behavior in some people. That’s half the battle in such arenas–finding a medical professional who at least finds the situation plausible.

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 22, 2006 03:26 PM
Rosemarie,

Angelo has a good suggestion. If that is not possible, I have a few ideas for you. First of all, Zoloft is probably NOT a good choice if controlling the urge to gamble with scratch off tickets is the problem.
Naltexone is a drug that is used to combat the urge to drink in alcoholics, and has met with some success with gambling urges. (There is some information on the Internet regarding that). However, I can also say that being a “Mirapex gambler”, NOTHING could make me stop gambling except stopping the drug. There is also the age old question of giving one drug to combat the problem caused by another drug, but what is important is getting help in any way possible that works for your son.

Posted by: Peggy on January 22, 2006 03:50 PM
Is anyone able to direct me to a website where I can retrieve the studies done in 2000, 2003, and 2005 (Mayo) regarding Mirapex and pathological gambling? I am reviewing the matter for a potential client. Thanks, Jim (JClaw221@aol.com)

Posted by: Jim on January 22, 2006 03:59 PM
This link takes you to the Mayo 2005 report abstract; to get the full text, you must be a subscriber: http://archneur.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/62/9/1377

This link takes you a 2000 report abstract concerning gambling emergence consequent to the use of dopamine agonists; again you must be a subscriber to get the full text:

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/72513625/ABSTRACT?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

The full text of the 2003 Stacy report was carried in the Aug or Sept 2003 edition of the journal “Neurology”. I’m sure it’s available for order from them; I don’t think it’s online any more though I could be wrong.

You may also find these reports useful:

2. Gschwandtner U, Aston J, Renaud S, Fuhr P. Pathologic gambling in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2001;24:170-172

8. Giovannoni G, O’Sullivan JD, Turner K, Manson AJ, Lees AJ. Hedonistic homeostatic dysregulation in patients with Parkinson’s disease on dopamine replacement therapies [see comment]. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2000;68:423-428. ABSTRACT/FULL TEXT

9. Molina JA, Sainz-Artiga MJ, Fraile A, et al. Pathologic gambling in Parkinson’s disease: a behavioral manifestation of pharmacologic treatment? Mov Disord. 2000;15:869-872. MEDLINE

10. Seedat S, Kesler S, Niehaus DJ, Stein DJ. Pathological gambling behaviour: emergence secondary to treatment of Parkinson’s disease with dopaminergic agents. Depress Anxiety. 2000;11:185-186. MEDLINE

11. Driver-Dunckley E, Samanta J, Stacy M. Pathological gambling associated with dopamine agonist therapy in Parkinson’s disease. Neurology. 2003;61:422-423. FULL TEXT

12. Montastruc JL, Schmitt L, Bagheri H. [Pathological gambling behavior in a patient with Parkinson's disease treated with levodopa and bromocriptine] [in French]. Rev Neurol Paris. 2003;159:441-443. MEDLINE

13. Avanzi M, Uber E, Bonfa F. Pathological gambling in two patients on dopamine replacement therapy for Parkinson’s disease. Neurol Sci. 2004;25:98-101. MEDLINE

14. Kurlan R. Disabling repetitive behaviors in Parkinson’s disease [see comment]. Mov Disord. 2004;19:433-437. MEDLINE

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 22, 2006 05:55 PM
Just love your blog!

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Posted by: former on January 26, 2006 04:08 PM
This recent posting from a legal website:

Mirapex and One Woman’s Addiction
January 15, 2006. By Jane Mundy

Deidra Flower, age 45, lives just outside Dallas, Texas with her husband and two kids. Her whole life turned around in just 15 minutes, back in September 2003, when she walked out of her doctor’s office diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and a prescription for Mirapex..

“I should have researched what was going into my body,” says Deidra. “My doctor gave me lots of information on the disease but not on the drugs I was taking.”

The first side effects were manageable, compared to what was in store. Deidra was “sick as a dog”, and lost 12 lbs. Now at a mere 94 lbs, she looked like a skeleton. She couldn’t eat, even the smell of food made her nauseous. “My doctor said it was a perfectly common side effect and I would work through it,” Deidra says. ”It took me a year to get 10 lbs back.” But soon, her concern over weight would be the last thing on her mind.

Deidra was president of a family company: her father was the owner and her husband Doug (not his real name) also worked for the company. Deidra and Doug frequently traveled to medical trade shows. The trade shows took them to New Orleans, Las Vegas, places where there were casinos.

“I lived in the casino, and had never done that in my life,” says Deidra. “At 4 a.m. my husband would come looking for me and tell me I had to work in three hours, and I still wouldn’t leave… He was so pissed off at me. I would sit in front of the slots for 10 hrs at a time.” Doug would later tell Deidra that she wasn’t even having fun.” I don’t know if I was having fun or not. I just remember not being able to get up from the seat.”

Deidra thought about her new obsession with gambling; she thought it was because she now had the opportunity. But that wasn’t true, because there was a casino close to home and she had never gone there — not before taking Mirapex.

“One year ago I started sneaking off; I told my husband I was going shopping. He finally figured out where I was and he would drag me out of the casino at 2 a.m,” says Deidra.

“Right after Christmas holidays, was the first day we were supposed to go back to work. I had been internet gambling at work, using the company’s business account. I thought that, if I hit one big slot [machine], I could win all this money back for the company… instead I just dug myself into a deeper hole.” She arrived at work, then promptly turned the car around and drove to the closest casino.

Doug finally told his father-in-law about her addiction. They pulled the company records and found that she had spent over $60,000.

When confronted, Deidra just cried uncontrollably. “I thought it was something I was taking,” she says.“I went online, typed in Mirapex and saw the link [to gambling]. I woke up my husband and said I know what is wrong with me.” By this time she was hysterical. And furious. She called the Parkinson’s Disease clinic and told the specialist’s assistant that she wasn’t taking any more Mirapex.

“His assistant said to me, ‘Honey you aren’t the first, don’t feel guilty, this is happening to a lot of others and then, when I spoke to the Parkinson’s specialist and told him what had happened to me, he suggested getting involved in a class action lawsuit.”

She was also obsessed with sex.

“It was another compulsion that I couldn’t control,” says Deidra. “Before Mirapex, I never initiated sex and then I couldn’t get enough (Doug wasn’t complaining). So now that I am off it, my sexual needs may slow down.”

Deidra has been off Mirapex for nine days. The Parkinson’s tremors are worse but she is “out of the fog.” In two weeks, when the Mirapex is out of her system, Deidra’s doctor will prescribe something else to combat the tremors.

Meanwhile, Mirapex has cost Deidra her job, destroyed her family and just about ruined her life. “My father won’t speak to me and we have lost our stock in the company that took 10 years to build. My husband had over $200,000 invested and he will never see a dime of it. We are now unemployed. We spent this past Christmas in hell — he is afraid to leave me because I have been suicidal. I am not exaggerating, I haven’t even wanted to get up. I just thank God my husband has supported me through every bit of it.”

If he hadn’t, Deidra might not be here to tell her story.

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 28, 2006 10:19 AM
Angelo, Could you please give me the name of the website that you obtained Deidra’s story from, Jane Mundy is the name of the journelist who also interviewed me via telephone, I believe that she is from Vancouver. Thank you, Kay

Posted by: Kay on January 30, 2006 10:10 AM
Well, I see that the song remains the same. The fact that people are still suffering from dopamine agonists producing compulsive behaviors saddens me. It also angers me that some doctors are still not getting the message, Mirapex, Requip, etc. do cause gambling addictions, sexual addictions, also eating, shopping… I know things are better than when I went through my “hell” staring in 1999 and ending 3 1/2 years later, when I stopped taking Mirapex. Mine was a horrific gambling addiction. I am one of the fortunate ones. Yes, I did lose about $500,000, my good name, lost relationships, on and on…but I did not lose my Wife, or kids, my Mom and Dad, my Brother, and others that stood by me. I know some have lost all those irreplaceable treasures. I know that one reason I survived is to help others through their personal journeys through this horror. I echo Angelo’s plea to get an attorney and speak up to your doctors. Write your newspapers, congressmen, whoever will listen. We started with just some postings on Parkinson.ORG a few years back, when Dr. Lieberman was arguing with me, saying that it could not be the Mirapex. He has since changed, oh about , 180 degrees. Although the warnings are insuffiicient, both Mirapex and Requip have warnings in their literature concerning possible gambling compulsions. The media has picked up on it, and more studies are being done. Although our suit was not certified as a class action, it is moving ahead nicely. The drug companies can say what they want, but we know the truth, and the truth, in the end, will win out, and so will we. We did not win at blackjack, roulette, slots, etc., but we will win the war. When the smoke clears, we, the survivors, will still stand, maybe a bit shakey from the PD, but firmly grounded in the truth that we not only survived, but were victorious in our fight. If you need to talk, email me at sweetviking1@msn.com Take Care, Jim

Posted by: Jim on January 30, 2006 12:45 PM
When I learned of the Mirapex/gambling connection in June 2005, my doctor advised me to stop the drug, which I did (with really bad results, if stopped cold turkey, by the way).. but all of my gambling urges were gone in 9-10 days and have remained so. Instead of Mirapex, he put me on a combination of Percocet and Klonopin for my restless legs, which seems to be doing the trick, for the most part.

But let me tell you…. he was gone in December when I needed my prescriptions re-written and so I saw one of his partners. She wanted me to try Requip!!!!! And her note in my medical chart reads, ” Had trouble with Mirapex, refuses to try Requip”. DUH! She did not even WANT to hear that if you take one dopamine agonist, you’re likely to have trouble with all of them. I pity her patients if she is going to be that arrogant.

Posted by: Peggy on January 30, 2006 12:56 PM
Kay: The website with the Mundy article is this one:

http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/mirapex_addiction.html

Posted by: angelo21122 on January 30, 2006 01:05 PM
Jim isright. I sometimes forget, but we have to remember how far we have all come on this journey. Yes, Dr. Lieberman was dismissive of dopamine agonists as the cause of our problems, but now he (and his replacements at the National PD Foundation) ROUTINELY advise patients to drop the dopamine agonists when gambling rears its head. What I can’t help but find particularly galling is the companies’ persistent claim that “there is no evidence” to support the linkage between the drugs and the behaviour. But I guess I keep forgetting how much money is at stake here…..

Obsessive Punding Behavior (compulsive ordering of objects)

30 Jul

Drug-Induced Compulsive Behaviors: Exceptions to the Rule
To the Editor: We are intrigued by the recent article by Bostwick et al1 on the emergence of impulse control behaviors after treatment with dopamine agonists. It is amazing how these gambling and hypersexuality adverse effects occur and then seem to immediately abate simply by discontinuing the Parkinson disease medication without need for any additional addiction-related treatment. Ropinirole was recently investigated in a phase 4 clinical trial as a treatment for sexual dysfunction secondary to antidepressant pharmacotherapy,2 which speaks to its possible effects on sexual behavior. Dopamine agonists may affect the mesolimbic pathway, as do drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine, whose behavioral properties are attributed to this dopaminergic activity; sexual compulsivity is a well-established adverse effect of these medications.3 Furthermore, dopamine dysregulation syndrome, an addictive use pattern of dopamine agonists, causes the same behaviors observed in cocaine-dependent patients, such as punding, a stereotypical motor behavior characterized by an intense fascination with the repetitive handling and examination of objects, particularly mechanical ones. Examples of punding include picking at oneself, taking apart watches and radios, or sorting and arranging common objects (eg, lining up pebbles, rocks, or other small objects). People engaging in punding find immersion in such activities comforting, even when they serve no purpose, and generally feel frustrated when diverted from them. Punding is thought to be related to dopamine use and has been observed in (meth)amphetamine and cocaine users, as well as in some patients with Parkinson disease, gambling addictions, and hypersexuality.4

We have questioned whether drugs like cocaine precipitate these psychiatric issues or whether they preexist the drug use. Robinson and Berridge5 suggest that prior use of certain drugs sensitizes the mesolimbic reward pathways, producing neuroplastic effects on the brain and increasing the likelihood of future abuse/dependence. Because impulse control disorders such as pathologic gambling and sexual compulsivity are associated with dysfunction in the same neural circuitry, we propose that use of these substances may directly activate these pathways (precipitating acute symptoms of compulsive gambling and/or hypersexuality) and over time may produce neuroplastic changes in these pathways (leading to chronic impulse control behaviors). With cocaine and other dopaminergic-stimulating medications, there may be a temporal use interval necessary to produce adaptive synaptic changes in the mesolimbic system of patients using these substances, and future studies should focus on the timeline of drug use.

In addition, we have treated hundreds of cocaine abusers with comorbid gambling addiction and/or hypersexuality for whom behavioral remission was not automatic once they stopped using cocaine. In fact, most of our patients need long-term treatment in addition to discontinuation of the substance. It would be useful to study the differences in cocaine-induced gambling and/or hypersexuality and dopamine agonist-induced behaviors. A long-term follow-up of the patients in the study by Bostwick et al1 would also be useful to determine whether true behavioral remission was achieved.

Noni A. Graham, MPH, Christopher J. Hammond, MD, and Mark S. Gold, MD
+ Author Affiliations

University of Florida College of Medicine
Gainesville
© 2009 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
References

↵ Bostwick JM, Hecksel KA, Stevens SR, Bower JH, Ahlskog JE. Frequency of new-onset pathologic compulsive gambling or hypersexuality after drug treatment of idiopathic Parkinson disease. Mayo Clin Proc. 2009;84(4):310-316. Abstract/FREE Full Text
↵ Hellerstein DJ. Treating sexual dysfunction from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medication: a study comparing Requip CR to placebo. http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT00334048. Accessed August 4, 2009
↵ Giovannoni G, O’Sullivan JD, Turner K, Manson AJ, Lees AJ. Hedonistic homeostatic dysregulation in patients with Parkinson’s disease on dopamine replacement therapies. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2000;68(4):423-428. Abstract/FREE Full Text
↵ O’Sullivan SS, Evans AH, Lees AJ. Dopamine dysregulation syndrome: an overview of its epidemiology, mechanisms and management. CNS Drugs. 2009;23(2):157-170. CrossRefMedline
↵ Robinson TE, Berridge KC. Addiction. Annu Rev Psychol. 2003;54:25-53. Epub 2002 Jun 10. CrossRefMedline
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doi: 10.4065/​84.9.846
Mayo Clinic Proceedings September 2009 vol. 84 no. 9 846-847
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Frequency of New-Onset Pathologic Compulsive Gambling or Hypersexuality After Drug Treatment of Idiopathic Parkinson Disease

30 Jul

Frequency of New-Onset Pathologic Compulsive Gambling or Hypersexuality After Drug Treatment of Idiopathic Parkinson Disease
J. Michael Bostwick, MD, Kathleen A. Hecksel, MD, Susanna R. Stevens, MS, James H. Bower, MD, and J. Eric Ahlskog, MD, PhD
+ Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology (J.M.B.), Department of Health Sciences Research (S.R.S.), and Department of Neurology (J.H.B., J.E.A.), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; and Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (K.A.H.)
Individual reprints of this article are not available. Address correspondence to J. Michael Bostwick, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905 (bostwick.john@mayo.edu).

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency of new-onset compulsive gambling or hypersexuality among regional patients with Parkinson disease (PD), ascertaining the relationship of these behaviors to PD drug use.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients from 7 rural southeastern Minnesota counties who had at least 1 neurology appointment for PD between July 1, 2004, and June 30, 2006. The main outcome measure was compulsive gambling or hypersexuality developing after parkinsonism onset, including the temporal relationship to PD drug use.

RESULTS: Of 267 patients with PD who met the study inclusion criteria, new-onset gambling or hypersexuality was documented in 7 (2.6%). All were among the 66 patients (10.6%) taking a dopamine agonist. Moreover, all 7 (18.4%) were among 38 patients taking therapeutic doses (defined as ≥2 mg of pramipexole or 6 mg of ropinirole daily). Behaviors were clearly pathologic and disabling in 5: 7.6% of all patients taking an agonist and 13.2% of those taking therapeutic doses. Of the 5 patients, 2 had extensive treatment for what was considered a primary psychiatric problem before the agonist connection was recognized.

CONCLUSION: Among the study patients with PD, new-onset compulsive gambling or hypersexuality was documented in 7 (18.4%) of 38 patients taking therapeutic doses of dopamine agonists but was not found among untreated patients, those taking subtherapeutic agonist doses, or those taking carbidopa/levodopa alone. Behaviors abated with discontinuation of agonist therapy or dose reduction. Because this is a retrospective study, cases may have been missed, and hence this study may reflect an underestimation of the true frequency. Physicians who care for patients taking these drugs should recognize the drug’s potential to induce pathologic syndromes that sometimes masquerade as primary psychiatric disease.

Both the medical press and the popular press have recently drawn attention to pathologic compulsive behaviors provoked by drug therapy for Parkinson disease (PD); however, the frequency of these socially devastating behaviors in a community sample of patients with idiopathic PD is unknown. In nearly all cases, pathologic gambling has been linked to dopamine agonist treatment: pramipexole, ropinirole, pergolide, cabergoline, or bromocriptine.1-13 In contrast, only rare cases of pathologic gambling have been associated with carbidopa/levodopa monotherapy.1-12 In most cases, affected patients either had no gambling history or gambled only occasionally for recreation. Pramipexole has been the agonist most often implicated, although this might primarily reflect prescribing practices.11

Pathologic hypersexuality has also been associated with dopamine agonist treatment, and agonists have been implicated in approximately 90% of reported cases; as with pathologic gambling, carbidopa/levodopa monotherapy has rarely been culpable.4,8,10,13-18 Similar to agonist-induced pathologic gambling, hypersexuality has surfaced among people with no history of sexual indiscretions. Other compulsive behaviors have additionally been provoked by dopamine agonist treatment, including compulsive eating,17,19 excessive shopping or spending,4,8,10,17,18 and less socially concerning activities, such as compulsive fishing, compulsive gardening, or excessive engagement in hobbies.20

Pathologic gambling and hypersexuality related to dopamine agonists have often had devastating consequences that may overshadow even the symptoms of PD.2,17 These drugs are routinely advocated as first-line treatment of PD, especially in younger patients. In view of their common use, we wanted to assess the risks of these medication-induced behavioral syndromes. Prevalence reports to date have emanated from referral center specialty clinics. To reduce specialty referral bias, we limited our sample to patients with PD who reside in the largely rural 7-county radius around Mayo Clinic’s site in Rochester, MN.

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PATIENTS AND METHODS

The Mayo Clinic Health Sciences computer database was queried to identify all patients residing in 7 southeastern Minnesota counties seen in the Mayo Clinic Neurology Department between July 1, 2004, and June 30, 2006, for evaluation or treatment of PD. By limiting the study population to the 7 counties surrounding Mayo Clinic’s site in Rochester, we attempted to constitute a sample of patients who receive their neurologic care locally. We are mindful that residents of these counties could seek care elsewhere but assume that most came to Mayo Clinic, given its proximity and the dearth of alternative care in these largely rural counties. From the medical record review, we included only patients who met the clinical criteria for probable idiopathic PD, as previously defined21-23; these criteria included at least 2 of 4 cardinal signs (resting tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and impaired postural reflexes) and excluded drug-induced parkinsonism, other secondary parkinsonisms, and parkinsonism-plus disorders. Cognitive impairment that developed less than 1 year after parkinsonism onset (suggesting dementia with Lewy bodies)24 was an exclusion criterion. Patients who had later-developing dementia (>1 year after parkinsonism) were not excluded.

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TABLE 1.
Primary Symptomatic Medications in 267 Patients With Parkinson Disease

Among patients with PD, we identified the medical records that documented pathologic compulsive gambling or hypersexuality beginning after the onset of parkinsonism, excluding those records in which the behavior predated the parkinsonism onset. In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition, Text Revision) terms, behaviors considered pathologic cause “impairment in social or occupational functioning.”25 We included cases of new-onset hypersexuality or gambling that had not definitely reached pathologic proportions; these cases have previously been termed subsyndromal.8 Newly developing compulsive behaviors other than hypersexuality or gambling were also recorded. Note that case ascertainment was limited by the study’s retrospective nature, and our findings likely underestimate the occurrence of these behaviors.

We additionally tabulated demographic data, psychoactive medications, marital status, psychiatric history, and any other addictive behaviors, including current tobacco or alcohol use or dependence. Dopamine agonists were a focus of this study, and these drugs are always started in low, subtherapeutic doses; often, however, they are inadvertently maintained at a low dose, insufficient for a therapeutic PD effect.26 Thus, we stratified dopamine agonist-treated patients into those taking therapeutic and subtherapeutic doses based on prior criteria26: 2 mg/d or more for pramipexole and 6 mg/d or more for ropinirole. These agents were the only dopamine agonists prescribed for PD in the United States at the time of the current study. Dementia status was recorded with criteria as previously published27; because mild cognitive impairment could not be reliably and consistently identified in this retrospective medical record review, this was not tabulated.

STATISTICAL ANALYSES Data are presented as number and percentage for categorical variables and mean ± SD and median (range) for continuous variables. P values comparing independent groups of patients are from the Fisher exact test for categorical variables and either the Wilcoxon rank sum test for 2-group comparisons or the Kruskal-Wallis test for 3-group comparisons of continuous variables.
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RESULTS

PATIENT CHARACTERISTICS Study entry criteria were met by 267 patients with PD who were seen at least once by a Mayo Clinic neurologist during the 2-year study period. Of these 267 patients, 66 (24.7%) were taking a dopamine agonist, but only 38 (14.2%) were taking agonist doses in the therapeutic range as defined herein. Of the remaining 201 patients, 178 (88.6%) were taking carbidopa/levodopa without an agonist (Table 1). During this 2-year interval, the 267 patients with PD were seen a mean ± SD of 3.1±2.6 times in the Mayo Clinic Neurology Department.
New-onset hypersexuality or gambling was documented in 7 patients and was clearly pathologic in 5. In the 2 patients in whom this behavior was not clearly pathologic, hypersexuality produced marital strife sufficient to discuss with the physician and sufficient for the physician to document in the medical record. All 7 patients with hypersexuality or gambling were taking a dopamine agonist, either pramipexole or ropinirole; 2 were taking it without carbidopa/levodopa. Furthermore, all 7 were taking therapeutic doses of pramipexole (≥2 mg/d) or ropinirole (≥6 mg/d). Thus, 7 (10.6%) of the 66 patients taking a dopamine agonist in any dose experienced hypersexuality or gambled. Among the 38 patients taking therapeutic doses of a dopamine agonist, 7 (18.4%) experienced hypersexuality or gambled (Figure). Restricting this to only the 5 patients with clearly pathologic gambling or hypersexuality revealed that these problems developed in 7.6% of the 66 agonist-treated patients with PD and 13.2% of 38 patients taking therapeutic doses of a dopamine agonist.

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FIGURE.
Percentage of patients with Parkinson disease (PD) with compulsive behaviors, stratified by dopamine agonist dose.

As indicated in Table 2, these 7 patients were significantly younger than the remaining PD patients and were significantly more likely to be smokers. Otherwise, this group was similar to the other patients with PD in a variety of other categories (Table 2). None of the 7 patients had dementia except for patient 5, who had Hoehn-Yahr PD stage 4 disease, whereas the other 6 patients all had stage 2 PD with preserved balance.28,29 Individual characteristics of these 7 patients are given in Table 3. Note that the agonist dosages did not exceed the usual recommended dosage in any patient.

Parenthetically, all 7 of these patients had been seen at least once by a Mayo Clinic staff neurologist who specializes in movement disorders and who had confirmed the diagnosis of PD; however, not all 7 were being followed up by a movement specialist at the time these behaviors had surfaced. Although these patients were independently identified by reviewing the 267 medical records, it was subsequently noted that 3 had previously been described in case series of patients reported from our medical center.2,17,20

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TABLE 2.
Demographics and Characteristics of the 267 Study Patientsa

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TABLE 3.
Patients With PD and Compulsive Gambling or Hypersexualitya

REPORT OF CASES Case 1. After 3 years of parkinsonism, a 46-year-old married man was diagnosed as having PD, and ropinirole monotherapy was initiated, with the dosage gradually increased to 15 mg/d. He subsequently developed “excessive libido” that “occasionally causes arguments with my wife.” Later carbidopa/levodopa was added, and the hypersexuality persisted for the next 2 years, with the patient or wife mentioning this to physicians at least 2 other times. Ultimately, with the hypersexuality “becoming a marital issue,” the dose of ropinirole was tapered and replaced with entacapone, leading to reduction of problematic libido.
Case 2. A 52-year-old married man with an 11-year history of levodopa-responsive PD developed a compulsive gambling habit 5 months after starting pramipexole therapy and 2 months after reaching the maintenance dose of 4.5 mg/d. He had previously gambled at casinos in Las Vegas, NV, only once or twice a year; he never had trouble stopping and never lost large sums of money. Now, he gambled daily, “sometimes [for] 36 hours straight,” sometimes awakening in the middle of the night and driving to the casino. His wife commented that this activity was “completely out of character for him.” His losses totaled $15,000. He also engaged in compulsive lawn care activities, consisting of blowing leaves for up to 6 hours at a time, finding it difficult to stop. Within weeks of stopping pramipexole therapy, the compulsion to gamble abated completely.

Case 3. A 68-year-old man was admitted to the psychiatry department after gambling more than $200,000 in a 6-month period. His family also noted “hypersexuality,” and he harbored the delusion that his ex-wife was a prostitute. His only medications were pramipexole, 4.5 mg/d, and levodopa, 600 mg/d (as carbidopa/levodopa), initially administered when PD was diagnosed 3 years earlier. His daughter said that he had formerly been financially meticulous, never going to casinos and never gambling. During his psychiatric hospitalization, treatment with olanzapine, 7.5 mg/d, plus citalopram, 20 mg/d, was started. Gambling ceased until he elected to stop taking the olanzapine 8 to 9 months later. Compulsive gambling reemerged and persisted for the next 2 years despite multiple psychiatric consultations. It subsequently remitted when his neurologist recognized pramipexole as potentially culpable and discontinued use of the drug.

Case 4. A 53-year-old married woman recently diagnosed as having PD developed uncontrollable urges to gamble within a month of starting pramipexole monotherapy at a maintenance dose of 4.5 mg/d. Unbeknownst to her husband, she lost $50,000 at a local casino during the ensuing 3 years. Before starting pramipexole therapy, she was an indifferent gambler, going to the casino weekly with friends but frequently wagering nothing and never losing large amounts of money. When pramipexole therapy was discontinued and carbidopa/levodopa therapy maintained, the gambling completely abated.

Case 5. An 80-year-old married man with a 16-year history of PD and gradually encroaching dementia developed hypersexuality, with the medical record documenting “some suggestion of sexual inappropriateness” toward his wife. His PD medications at that time were ropinirole, 6 mg/d, and carbidopa/levodopa, 850 mg/d. After the ropinirole dose was tapered, the medical record did not mention hypersexuality again.

Case 6. A 69-year-old married man with a 14-year history of PD reported a 3-year history of gambling and “increased libido.” Prior to 3 years ago, he had never gambled and had gambled only since then during the summer months, “twice a day, every day,” because a casino was close to their summer home. Pramipexole, 4.5 mg/d, had been initiated a year before the onset of these behaviors after he had been taking 3 mg/d for the prior 4 years. After he reduced his pramipexole dose back to 3 mg/d, the problematic gambling remitted.

Case 7. A 49-year-old married man with an 8-year history of PD developed a compulsive gambling habit a month after increasing his ropinirole dosage from 15 to 21 mg/d. Initially regarded as a psychiatric problem, the compulsive gambling was managed with counseling and attendance at Gamblers Anonymous meetings, which controlled the urge but did not eliminate it. A year later, his wife told the neurologist that he had “an excessive sex urge,” later necessitating a call to the police after her husband chased her when she refused sex. Other new-onset compulsions included intense focus on his hobby of making stained glass windows, often staying up all night to work on these. His appetite and alcohol intake also increased. Quetiapine was initiated at dosages up to 300 mg/d without effect on his sexual demands. He was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder, and his medical regimen was switched from quetiapine to carbamazepine without benefit. Not until the dosage of ropinirole (then 24 mg/d) was tapered and carbidopa/levodopa substituted did his pathologic behaviors remit, with his wife reporting a “complete transformation” with the levodopa and entacapone. “I have my husband back,” she said. “It was like I was married to an alien.”

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DISCUSSION

We assessed the risk of serious pathologic behavioral syndromes that develop with treatment of PD. Restricting the analysis to gambling or hypersexuality that was unequivocally pathologic revealed a frequency of 13.2% among those taking therapeutic doses of pramipexole or ropinirole. The risk increased to 18.4% by including the 2 patients with hypersexuality that produced marital strife that was not clearly pathologic. This finding contrasts with that of no such cases among the 178 patients taking carbidopa/levodopa without an agonist or the 28 taking subtherapeutic agonist doses.

These data are consistent with multiple prior studies reporting that these pathologic behaviors are highly associated with dopamine agonist use.1-13,17,18 The literature indicates that the risk of pathologic gambling or hypersexuality with carbidopa/levodopa monotherapy is low,1-12,17,18 which is also consistent with our findings. However, most of the described patients with PD, including our patients, have been taking an agonist concurrent with levodopa, which presumably facilitates the effect.

These pathologic behaviors have been noted almost exclusively among patients with PD who have been taking dopamine agonist doses well into the therapeutic range or beyond,2,3,11,17,18 consistent with our findings. Dopamine agonists are always initially administered in low doses that are far below therapeutic for PD. The conventional escalation to therapeutic doses for PD requires at least 4 to 6 weeks.26 In routine practice, PD is often inadvertently maintained with low doses, perhaps because of the complexity, multiple steps, and time required for this escalation. Our study and prior investigations suggest that patients with PD who are taking subtherapeutic doses have a low risk of developing these pathologic behaviors (although defeating the purpose of these PD drugs). However, there are exceptions; most notably, gambling or hypersexuality has been reported in a few patients treated with low agonist doses for restless legs syndrome.30-32

Also consistent with other series, patients with PD who are experiencing these problems tend to be younger and usually do not have dementia. However, younger patients are more likely to have agonists prescribed, whereas agonists are less frequently prescribed in PD patients with dementia (treatment bias).

These retrospective findings are conservative risk estimates and should be viewed as an estimate of the minimum frequency for several reasons. First, patients often fail to report these problems to their caregivers (and may not, even if asked, because of embarrassment). Second, physicians may not include such problems in the medical record to avoid socially embarrassing documentation. Third, in this retrospective study, there is no assurance that physicians asked, let alone recorded these data. Finally, if treating physicians are unaware of the potential for such behavior, it is unlikely to be recognized. Thus, these behaviors were not identified in the 2 major long-term clinical trials of ropinirole33 and pramipexole34 that were conducted before the general recognition of this syndrome. These 2 trials collectively included approximately 180 patients with PD who were treated with 1 of these agonists for at least 4 years, ultimately in conjunction with carbidopa/levodopa. If the prevalence of these pathologic behaviors is similar to what we and others have found, then cases should have surfaced in these trials.

Questionnaire assessments of patients with PD followed up by referral center specialty clinics have revealed that approximately 12% of those treated with a dopamine agonist experienced pathologic gambling or hypersexuality.4,8 Although these findings suggested substantial risks, such surveys might raise questions of referral or selection bias. However, our similar findings among regional patients with PD suggest that these figures are probably not overestimated and, given the methodological limitations of our study, that the true frequency of these behaviors is likely underestimated.

Note, however, that our study is not truly a community-based study as epidemiologically defined. Although residence was restricted to the 7-county region surrounding Mayo Clinic, patients could have sought care elsewhere, allowing for possible selection bias.

As illustrated by the case histories, the problems can be life-changing events, with gambling depleting family finances or hypersexuality threatening marriage and reputation. Physicians treating PD with dopamine agonists should obviously warn the patients, spouses, and families of such risks because they may not recognize the relationship to the drug until disastrous consequences have occurred. As in most prior reports, these pathologic behaviors often develop de novo in people with no prior histories to suggest such risks. Families are typically stunned by the out-of-character behavior but do not usually link it with the dopamine agonist.

Psychiatrists may be unaware of the potential of dopamine agonists to induce these behavioral syndromes. This was evident in the 2 patients who were receiving extended psychiatric care with multiple therapeutic modalities that proved insufficient until use of the agonist was discontinued. Ultimately, discontinuation of use of the dopamine agonist was consistently effective in treating these patients. The reversibility with discontinued use of the agonist noted herein is consistent with the findings of other recent series of similar patients.2,10,17,18

The basis for these drug-induced pathologic behaviors continues to be debated. However, it is hard to ignore the fact that the implicated dopamine agonists have unique and selective affinity for dopamine D3 receptors.35 Dopamine D3 receptors are primarily confined to the limbic system.36 Conceptually, they may prime the dopamine reward circuits to facilitate certain behaviors. Hence, patients in the current and other series often display more than 1 pathologic behavior.

If selective dopamine D3 agonism mediates these behaviors, one might speculate that selective dopamine D3-blocking drugs might effectively treat such pathologic behaviors that develop spontaneously in the general community. Such drugs exist37 but have not been sufficiently developed to be used in clinical trials.

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CONCLUSION

Among the study patients with PD, new-onset compulsive gambling or hypersexuality was documented in 7 (18.4%) of 38 patients taking therapeutic doses of dopamine agonists, but was not found among untreated patients, those taking subtherapeutic agonist doses, or those taking carbidopa/levodopa alone. Behaviors were clearly pathologic and disabling in 5 of the 7 patients. The behaviors abated with discontinuation of agonist therapy or dose reduction. Because this was a retrospective study, cases may have been overlooked, and thus this study may reflect an underestimate of the true frequency. Physicians who care for patients taking these drugs should recognize the potential of the drugs to induce pathologic syndromes that sometimes masquerade as primary psychiatric disease.

© 2009 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
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Mirapex Increases Risk Taking, Blunts Reward Activity

27 Jul

Dopamine agonist increases risk taking but blunts reward-related brain activity.

Source : Department of Neuropsychology, University of Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany.

Abstract. The use of D2/D3 dopaminergic agonists in Parkinson’s disease (PD) may lead to pathological gambling. In a placebo-controlled double-blind study in healthy volunteers, we observed riskier choices in a lottery task after administration of the D3 receptor-preferring agonist pramipexole thus mimicking risk-taking behavior in PD. Moreover, we demonstrate decreased activation in the rostral basal ganglia and midbrain, key structures of the reward system, following unexpected high gains and therefore propose that pathological gambling in PD results from the need to seek higher rewards to overcome the blunted response in this system.

 

Full Article: mirapex gambling blunt reward

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