Home Page Potential Lawsuit Mirapex
The Mirapex drug (known generically as pramipexole dihydrochloride), popular in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, has been linked to serious side effects. These Mirapex side effects include an increased risk of compulsive behavior. Specifically, a link has been found between Mirapex and compulsive gambling or other compulsive behavior, including shopping, eating and sexual activity.
Mirapex is used to treat signs and symptoms of idiopathic Parkinson's disease. Specifically, the drug may improve the patient's ability to perform everyday activities and may also reduce the resting tremor.
Mirapex Side Effects
Since Mirapex was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in 1997, it has been reported that hundreds of users have alleged they developed Mirapex side effects such as compulsive behaviors, including gambling, shopping, addiction and eating disorders. Furthermore, these patients claim they had no prior history of either excessive or compulsive behavior.
Patients are typically diagnosed with Parkinson's after the age of 50. These patients suffer from a dopamine deficiency in the brain. Low dopamine levels can reduce emotional responses, limiting the ability to experience pleasure and pain, and often resulting in depression or mood changes. Symptoms of Parkinson's include tremors, stiff muscles and joints, poor posture, and a shuffling gait.
Mirapex and Parkinson's Disease
Mirapex—a dompamine agonist—is designed to increase the production of dopamine. The medication is licensed and distributed in North America by Pfizer USA, but it is patented and licensed by Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd., of Germany.
According to the Responsible Gambling Council and the Detroit Free Press, 230 North Americans have been in touch with lawyers to discuss legal action in response to this most destructive and unusual side-effect. A Toronto law firm has already filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Mirapex victims and seeks additional plaintiffs.
Mirapex Compulsive Behavior
Consumers taking Mirapex share similar stories: they allege they experience uncontrollable urges, often resulting in broken marriages, bankruptcy and host of psychological problems including depression and suicide. Many encounter legal problems as a result of their compulsions.
Due to these reports, the Mirapex package insert was changed to state adverse events include "accidents (including fall), compulsive behaviors (sexual and pathological gambling), fatigue, hallucinations (all kinds), headache, hypotension, libido disorder, syncope, and blackouts."
Mirapex Label Change
A 2003 report in the journal Neurology covered the work of researchers at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Research Center in Arizona. They surveyed 1,800 Parkinson's patients over a one-year period and determined that of the 529 patients in the study who took Mirapex, eight developed gambling addictions. Since Mirapex is prescribed to millions of patients, this means that thousands of users may be experiencing these compulsions.
Meanwhile, a July 2005 issue of Archives of Neurology published a study by the Mayo Clinic that described the experiences of Parkinson's patients who developed compulsive behavior while taking Mirapex. One such description involved a 68-year-old man who lost more than $200,000 at casinos over a six-month period. Another description involved a 41-year-old computer programmer who lost $5,000 on Internet gambling in a few months.
According to reports, the compulsive behavior normally subsides once Mirapex is discontinued.
In 2008, a Mirapex lawsuit went to court, resulting in an $8.2 million award to the plaintiff. The lawsuit alleged Mirapex caused the plaintiff to compulsively gamble, resulting in losses of $260,000. Gary Charbonneua, the plaintiff, alleged that Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim knew that Mirapex had the potential to cause compulsive behavior but did not issue adequate warnings.
Register Your Mirapex CaseIf you or a loved one has suffered from compulsive behaviors while taking Mirapex, you may qualify for damages or remedies that may be awarded in a possible class action lawsuit. Please click the link below to submit your Mirapex complaint.
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In 1993, I was 44 years old when I first read about RLS in a healthcare magazine article. I then knew what had been bothering me r years before, was an ailment named RLS. Up until then, I thought the problem with uncontrolled movements and crawling sensations in my legs was due to stress. Although RLS is fairly common, most like me, hesitate to admit it because it could be perceived as a personality weakness for instance if you are or wannabe a manager, the perception is a good manager knows how to cope with stress.
In 1994 I mentioned this to a doctor who was overlooking a complete physical exam of corporate executives sponsored and paid by my employer. The doctor prescribed Quinine. It did help a little with the intensity but not with the frequency and duration which seems to be getting worst with time.
Moved from Louisville KY to Fayetteville NC following my wife to her new job. I went to see a doctor at an Urgent Care Outpatient clinic to renew my blood pressure and cholesterol prescriptions. He referred me to a semi-retired neurologist who asked me to participate in a sleep study that confirmed I had severe sleep APNEA. He prescribed Sinemet for my RLS and to use a CPAP respirator for my sleep APNEA. The neurologist explained that Sinemet had several advantages. It was cheap, widely been used for many years to help people with Parkinson disease and more recently RLS. Not much research was done on RLS since the same dopamine based drugs used for Parkinson like Sinemet at a low dosage seem to be effective with no known bad side effects.
My Sinemet prescription was increased several times from one pill a day at bed time to 2, then 3 then up to 6 a day or one pill every four hours. My first neurologist retired and the second neurologist also semi-retired did not seem to know much about RLS. He thought it was caused by me being stressed and I may need medication to calm me down. He told me: “why don’t you do your own research see what you find.” I found on the RLS Foundation website the problem, I had with Sinemet was referred to as Augmentation: a side effect of Sinemet for 25% of people using it. It was referred to as Augmentation.
A suggestion was also made on the RLS FW to use Mirapex instead which did not have that common and rapid augmentation problem. I showed the article to my neurologist and he gave me a new prescription for Mirapex.
At the end of 1998, Started using Mirapex prescribed by a Fayetteville neurologist who was familiar with the drug to treat Parkinson but not for RLS. His own research confirmed that Mirapex worked for RLS, and if not to use narcotics. I saw also on the RLS Foundation website that Mirapex could have this Augmentation problem like Sinemet but over a much longer period. It also recommended to start with a low initial dosage, I believe it was 0.1 mg three times a day. The Augmentation problem I had with Sinemet ceased and I only needed one or two 0.1 mg pills a day of Mirapex for a at least one year. So Mirapex appeared to me as the wonder drug allowing me to resume a more normal life style.
After using a combination of Urgent Care doctors and neurologists in Fayetteville NC, and moving to Elizabethtown NC in early 2007, I thought it would be best if I could find and consult a regular local physician. I got my first appointment with a doctor in Elizabethtown in early 2007. I asked him if I needed a Neurologist for my RLS condition and prescriptions. He said he knew all he needed to treat me and did not need a neurologist. He did not change the prescriptions I had and he asked me to see him every three months.
He never discussed with me possible compulsive behaviors from Mirapex which by 2007 should have been on the label and drug information sheet. His office used something new I had not seen before, All the doctors and nurses used a tablet in which they entered my vitals and the doctor consulted if he was prescribing me a new medication or adjusting a dosage on an existing prescription. I am assuming the medication data base was kept up to date by the drug manufacturers. I have no way of telling if the warnings were the same as the printed sheet given with to the consumer with each prescription. Th doctor never warned me of possible compulsive behaviors and / or what it meant.
Day Time Sudden Sleeping (DTSS) occurred not long after I started taking Mirapex. It could be for instance at lunch time talking to my wife and falling asleep at the table. I had the same problem at work with Day Time Sudden Sleeping. Falling asleep during meetings. Not just dozing: but also, sleeping and snoring. I was so embarrassed and became less confident in my abilities as a project manager.
I mentioned it to my doctor and he said there were two medications I was taking that could have this side effect. Mirapex and one of my blood pressure medicine. Now that I think back about this, I had been taking the same blood pressure medicine for a long time before Mirapex and did not have the Day Time Sudden Sleeping problem until I started on Mirapex.
I asked my doctor if there was something that could help with daytime sudden sleeping and he prescribed Nuvigil. We had to fight the healthcare insurance to get it approved. It worked and it took care of my DTSS. I lost my jpb in December 2008 shortly after HP purchased EDS . I was an easy target for layoff due to my age and my sudden daytime sleep problem in the previous years. EDS or HP as far as I know never reported the DTSS and no one discussed it with me. I was too embarrassed to bring it up during the performance reviews with my boss.
My late wife noticed a sudden change in my eating habits. She often told me: “when we were in Kentucky (1993 to 1999) you only ate your three meals a day and rarely snacks in between. Now you are snacking all the time. Always looking for something to eat. You still eat about the same portions at meal time, it is all these snacks that causes this weight gain. “
My weight had been at 180 lbs from when I was 20 to 45 year old. With my compulsive eating I gain 65 lbs over a 10 year period while using Mirapex.
I will not document here my hot spells with sex. I wold like to point out that the wanings are contradictory, One says could lose interest in sex, the other says could become obsessed with sex. I will not give the details but I did become obsessed with sex.
At the same time in 2004 I started smoking regularly again after I had quit in 1994. I had lung cancer in 2013.
I became addicted to shopping on eBay and Amazon. Often spending all night on my laptop searching for some illusive deal. I was shopping for old and new wrist watches, HO model train sets and accessories, old , new and collectible cameras and chinaware. From my laptop at work although I knew this was wrong.
Although I had seen by then the documented side effect of Mirapex to compulsive gambling, I was not aware that it applied to all sorts on compulsive behaviors like shopping, buying, spending, over eating and certainly not sex.
Then I realized what I was doing on eBay , buying and reselling was a form of gambling where I had been the loser.
Despite most of `my relatives and friends telling me it is not wise to spend your money on real estate after the 2008 crash. I had this urge to improve our estate now. I cashed more than $400,000 of my RIA savings “investing” on some major home improvements convinced that I would get more than my money back if and when we had to sell the estate. The housing market for houses in the $500,000 and up market never recovered from the 2008 crash. The estate we had paid for $500,000 in 2006 and “invested” $300,000 on home improvements, our cost of more than $800,000 sold for only $425,000 in 2012. We had to sell because my wife had lost her job and her share in a company after her partners found out that she was stage 4 cancer.
From 2012 to now it only got worse. After my wife passed in September 2016, she controlled the finances because we both knew I could not, I am facing bankruptcy after buying much more than I can afford in preparation for full time RV'ing.
Starting in 1998 and intensifying over the next decade, I became a different man. Obsessed with dealing on eBay , excessive shopping on line and locally, infatuated with sex, taking risks with my lifetime savings. I feel I have been cheated of the life I should have had with my wife, family, relatives. I am ashamed of who I am, weak, not capable of controlling these urges for buying, sex and over eating. I cannot undo what has been done. I often think a sudden death would be nice to get out of this hold and not have to face all the shame and embarrassment.
The manufacturer is getting away facing new lawsuits because they say there is a warning on the labels. In my case since 2005 two neurologists and three hospitals where I was admitted for seizure or syncope failed to see this warning and never mentioned Mirapex as a possible cause of my seizures / syncopes. Could it be that if they made this warning clear enough, doctors and patients would opt for the much safer but a lot cheaper narcotics to treat RLS and cases like mine at 1.5% of their patients are an acceptable collateral loss. I tried to use narcotics in SC. My neurologist gave me a prescription for morphine. But here is the catch. I need to go see the neurologist every month for a new prescription. The pharmacies are not allowed to keep it in stock. A prescription takes one week to fill. Big Pharma and their lobbyists are hard at fighting the sale of cheap morphine because they dont have anything better with their designer drugs. They track everything doctors prescribed. This is how some doctors qualify for these all expense paid trips for Seminars in exotic resorts. Ask your doctor if he goes to seminars sponsored by the manufacturer of Mirapex, you may understand why he did not discuss with you the possible devastating side effects of Mirapex.
I have a hard time believing or accepting that a drug had that effect o n me. How can I expect my children, friends and relatives to believe me? I know most of them think of me like an alcoholic who does not want to admit his dependency and its effect on him and his entourage. With Mirapex we have it in reverse, we have to prove to all that we are weak because of drug we must take to survive. I know if I did not have a drug to control my RLS , I would not want to be alive more than two days. People who dont have RLS dont understand this, neither do they understand how someone like me have these nearly uncontrollable urges. If I would take a pill for a stomach ache and my skin would change from in my case being white to green, I would certainly have a strong case to sue the manufacturer even if the label said your skin could permanently changed from white to green. Mirapex does not change our skin but it changes who we are,, which is much worse, And sorry about saying Mirapex does not change our skin. I have a bad case of edema on my legs. Two dermatologists, and a cardiologist who saw me and . or treated me for the past three years never mentioned Mirapex. There is a study that proves the link between severe edema on the legs and Mirapex. Another study says if you have a history in your family of any of Bipolar, substance abuses, panic attack, fibromyalgia, you are very likely going to be part of the 1.5% with severe Mirapex side effects or be part of the acceptable collateral group, Big Pharma and the FDA have accepted for us. Lets see in my case, my mother was bipolar, my father and most of my uncles alcoholics, my two brothers suffer from panic attacks and my sister Fibromyalgia, Did I miss one of the qualifier ? And Big Pharma and the FDA are saying I am the only one to blame because I should have seen and understood the warning on their label. How long is it going to take before they force the healthcare industry to do their job and qualify each paient for Mirapex before prescribing it and clearly explain the cheaper alternatives with narcotics? Eight million dollar settlements for each case may help.
Never gambled in my life. Mirapex dose wen up and became absolutely addicted to gambling. Filed bankruptcy. Wanted to die. Went off of Mirapex - compulsion gone.
I started taking Mirapex 12 years ago. I have always been an extremely stable and calm individual, very good with money and slim my entire life up until the time I started the Mirapex. With in a month of starting the medication, my symptoms worsened and I suddenly began to have bouts of extreme rls during the day, which I'd never experienced before. I went back to the neurologist who prescribed the medication to me and he told me that my only other options were to either take 2 weeks off work and go through the severe withdrawals or switch to heavy narcotics!
Soon after that, I began eating. Even when I was completely full and my stomach was hurting, I still wanted to eat. I now felt nervous all the time and food was one of the only things that calmed me down .
I also felt incredibly aroused most of the time. The need to masturbate become overwhelming (except when I'd just taken a dose, which would usually knock me out within an hour). My desire to shop also became an obsession. Anything to try and calm my nervousness down.
After a few years of all this, my marriage ended.
I also began to develop all kinds of aches and pains, exhaustion, constant pinched nerves and seized muscles. For many years I considered them completely unrelated, until they got much worse. Now I've made a definite correlation between Mirapex and muscle seizures(too much dopamine causes them), which have gotten so bad that I'm practically immobilized and in severe pain every day.
The only good thing, was that I became obsessed with health. Over the years I have tried numerous diets and supplements to help me get off of the medication. So far, the only thing that actually truly helped, was raw food. When I only have juices, smoothies, salads and some nuts, I can cut my medication down immediately. Within three days, I've gone from three 0.25mg pills a day, down to one. I've also been taking Pukka's "Night Time", (2 pills 3-4 times a day), which is a combination of Valerian, Aswaganda and other herbs, which definitely helps keep me calm and helps me sleep.
Hoping with all my heart that I can get off this medication very soon and help everyone else I can to.
I took part in the Mirapex class action suit due to RLS. During my years of using Mirapex... more then 20 years, I lost so much. It was totally out of character for me. I lost $150.000 + and when the settlement was finally reached, I ended up with $4700. This was very upsetting as I had submitted all my files of loss to Thomson & Rogers throughout the years.
I asked the lawyers why my settlement was so low and the response I received was, the judge said how do we know that she/me did not spend the money she lost on a steak dinner.
In my opinion, the only one who receives money from a class action suit are the lawyers.
I had been taking MIrapex for 13 years for restless legs. Soon after beginning taking Mirapex, I began exhibiting compulsive behaviors which were totally uncharacteristic of me. These behaviors included compulsive internet chatting of a sexual nature. Prior to that time, I had never been interested in pornography, magazines featuring nudes or semi-nudes or strip clubs. After about 12 years I developed severe edema in my legs and feet. My doctors were baffled by the edema until my cardiologist read that edema could be caused by Mirapex. I was taken off the Mirapex and put on Gabapentin and my edema disappeared quickly. The compulsive behaviors continued however, until I was arrested in May for supposedly having inappropriate chats with a 15 year old girl. Subsequent to my arrest my cardiologist did some more research on Mirapex and found that my behaviors are consistent with the now reported side effects of Mirapex. Other compulsive behaviors I exhibited included impulse purchases such as a 33’ cabin cruiser and allowing myself to fall for a couple of internet scams. In addition to the edema and compulsive behaviors, I would also fall suddenly fall asleep at the worst of times such as in important meetings and at my desk at work; this resulted in my losing a $70,000/year position as the director of a local city department. I’m now a 70 year old unemployable professional. My reputation has been destroyed and my of 47 years marriage and my relationship with my children has been severely damaged. Financially, I had to borrow $25,000 to cover legal fees, spent over $4,000 for a battery of psychological tests and I may lose my house and have to declare bankruptcy.
Documented compulsive gambling linked to Mirapex. Financial and material losses. Low self-esteem. Homeless. I am on long term disability. Suicide attempt and thoughts. Follow-up by psychiatrist.
I became a compulsive buyer, unable to pass a Thrift store, buying things on line and anywhere. I ended up with 46 pairs of mostly hi-end golf shoes (5 pairs of shoes worn by Payne Stewart that retail for @$500) knee high and regular argyle socks, @100 sweater vests, 50 pairs of dress shoes, over 200 golf polo shirts, 3,000 golf clubs, 40 golf bags, and other things. Always wore expensive slacks, $70-$150 golf polo, argyle socks and knee highs when I wore golf knickers which then "REQUIRED" wing tip golf shoes and wing tip or fancy shoes. Got so bad that I actually bought the same shoes off 2 different sites on the same day. Went thru over $50,000. After reading about this side effect, I quit taking Mirapex and the compulsions were gone in 2 weeks, but I can't fit all the things I bought into my house.
The compulsive side effects of mirapex ruined my marriage, my career, and my ability to be a functional part of society. It left my 4 young daughters to be raised by a single parent, not understanding any of it because all my their mother could think of to tell them for a reason is "because Daddy is sick". It has left me with no value and no pride.
First took Requip and gambling began. Monetary losses over $20,000. Dr. changed me to Mirapex. Gambling became totally out of control. The very worst is not the money. My marriage is now in question as well as my relationship with my daughter.
Bankruptcy times two, three years behind on taxes, overdrawn checking constant, behind on bills, foreclosure, is there anything else that can happen (yes, repo on my car).
Using Mirapex has ruined my life. I lost wife, retirement, condos, everything I had. I am now off of Mirapex and life is improving.
I have lost a substantial amount of money, lost my job, unable to get a job due to my poor credit. Destroying my relationship with my family.
I am anxious all the time, I am afraid of getting caught in a lie by all of my family. I have lived near casinos for 20 years and until I started taking Mirapex had only been to the casino a handful of times. I don't know how much money I have lost because I am so afraid to look. I can't stop thinking about going and I don't know if I should stop my medicine or not because no one has ever talked to me about this. It is the only medicine that works for my extreme RLS. I have chronic illness and take several meds, but this didn't start until I started the Mirapex. I had no idea this was the cause until I read about the gambling problem recently.
I liquidated over $200,000 of savings and investments, created over $200,000 of credit card debt and caused the divorce of my marriage. I am only 33 years old!
I started Mirapex 2.5 years ago. At 51 I have ALWAYS been known as an extremely frugal person by everyone that knows me. In the last 2 years I have racked up over $150K in debt due to gambling and spending. This is totally out of character for me and came close to ruining my marriage.
I have had to file a legal separation to save our marital assets. He was spending money like crazy, not paying bills on time, he may even be gambling - I do not know. I am unemployed and I am terrified about the future. He is a medical professional and could lose his job because of his sexual addiction. I wrote the company a letter of complaint that explains everything and would like to send it to whomever will help me.
Gambling since taking mirapex has ruined me financially, I have lost my home and am now in danger of losing my car, without which I won't be able to keep my job. I haven't been a gambler all my life until taking this drug.
I was a successful businesswoman, earning over $100,000 a year. We were on track to rebuild our home. I now realize that Mirapex took its toll resulting in the threat of foreclosure and declaring bankruptcy. My parents tried to help out by getting a very large mortgage on their house and are now facing losing their house.
*sold family home at a loss
*daughter dropped out of school losing one years tuition and board.
* family members had to go to counseling
*created mental anguish for all family members
I lost a $375K home, life savings, 401K, and additional funds. I gambled away over $1M. My medication was changed 3 Jan 08 to Sinemet and I am no longer shopping or gambling. Mirapex has totally ruined my life. I was taking Mirapex from 1997 through Jan 2008. I have a letter from the doctor who changed my medicaiton on 3 Jan that states she changed it because my gambling was a direct result of Mirapex. Before taking Mirapex, I was a successful single mom, with money in savings, checking and 401K. I had a perfect credit rating, a $375K home and a son in private school. I have lost everything as a result of taking Mirapex. I have been working at the same organization for 28 years and I am now in jeopardy of losing my job when I am just 2 years away from retirement. Please help me.
I lost lot of money. Refinanced my house to payoff credit cards only to max them out again. Filed for bankruptcy. Was in auto accident. Placed on paid admin leave from my job until I sought therapy.
I have been diagnosed with Restless Leg Syndrome and have been taking Mirapex for several years. For at least the last two years (probably longer), I have been terrible about my shopping! I have spent money that we don't have, gotten credit cards that my husband wasn't (isn't) aware of, falsified our bank statements (cut/paste) off the web so that my husband wouldn't know what I had bought, and more! I get up early (5:00 am) - before he gets up to go shopping. We have fought over this so many times. I feel TERRIBLE! My husband is a disabled Vietnam veteran, and the stress I have put him under is shameful. We have a limited income, but that doesn't seem to stop me, although I have REALLY tried. While shopping has always been a pleasant experience for me in our 35 years of marriage, it was NEVER a problem like THIS until the past few years. I also have urges to gamble, and have done some over the internet. I'm always trying to talk my husband into going to the casino or taking a trip to Reno. This, too, is out of character for me. The last time my husband found out about my deceitful spending was about two weeks ago. I wanted to die!!! I'm so ashamed of my lack of control!!! Why he hasn't left me, I'll never know! I seem to always promise to do better.... and I do for a while. Then I start shopping/spending without telling him, and eventually it catches up with me and we have a big mess. I have considered suicide before, but my religious beliefs have kept me from making an attempt. Sometimes I would just like to disappear though. I also have depression, which I take medication for. I am so embarrassed to be sharing this information. It wasn't until very recently that I became aware of the possible side effects of Mirapex. My doctor tried taking me off it about a year ago, because it wasn't as effective with my RLS (1mg dose at bedtime). I tried Requip, but it didn't work for me at all. The doctor put me back on Mirapex, at double the doseage (2mg at bedtime). I don't KNOW that the Mirapex is why I have the impulse to shop, and then hide everyting or not. I'm just sharing my experience. I'm sure my husband could tell you HIS experiences dealing with me, as well!
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