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Requip Linked to Compulsive Behavior Disorders
Requip contains the active ingredient ropinirole, which is used to control tremors associated with Parkinson's Disease (PD) and Restless Leg Syndrome. However, drugs like Requip (and Mirapex) have been associated with pathological gambling and other compulsive behaviors-- the benefits of these medications may come at a very high price tag for some patients.
Requip Compulsive Behavior
Even though most users of Requip have never experienced compulsive behaviors before starting the drug, many victims have developed addictions during its use. Fortunately, the behavior subsides once the drug is discontinued but for many victims, financial damage is irreparable.
Parkinson's patients prescribed Requip have experienced a gamut of behavioral changes, from simply buying lottery tickets to pathological gambling. Other patients have developed serious OCD (obsessive compulsive disorders) as well as aggressive sexual impulses, overeating, medication abuse, and personality changes. Most victims have no idea of any behavioral changes and as a result, they can suffer long periods of debilitating and destructive behavior, all the while completely unaware that the drug was causing the problem and that it would cease if they discontinued taking it.
(In 2006, a retired doctor filed a $14 million lawsuit against the manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, the world's second largest pharmaceutical company, and several casinos, alleging Requip turned him into a compulsive gambler.)
Requip belongs to a group of drugs known as dopamine agonists, which work by activating dopamine receptors, mimicking the effect of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Like Mirapex, it is designed to increase the production of dopamine. PD causes sufferers to gradually lose dopamine. Thus, they actually develop an aversion to the type of impulsive behavior associated with excess dopamine. When Mirapex, Requip, or another dopamine agonist is introduced, the behavioral changes in those adversely affected can be both quick and dramatic. Dopamine also affects brain processes that control emotional responses and a person's ability to experience pleasure and pain; therefore it is thought to play a role in addictive behavior.
In July, 2006 the Mayo Clinic published a study in the Archives of Neurology that identified 11 Parkinson's patients who developed a gambling habit while taking Mirapex or Requip between 2002 and 2004. After the study was released, 14 additional Mayo patients were diagnosed with the problem. The Mayo Clinic further analyzed findings in 5 prior studies and confirmed that commonly prescribed dopamine agonists have been associated with pathological gambling.
Another study, by Scotland's Institute of Neurological Sciences, found 8 percent of patients taking dopamine agonists experienced pathological gambling problems. It also found dopamine so effective against the Parkinson's symptoms that users were reluctant to say if they were experiencing compulsive behavior problems.
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Last updated on Mar-18-09
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I have lost a lot of money, my wife has filed for a divorce, lost our home, stolen money from my kids all just to be able to gamble. I never gambled before in my life, but now I take a drug Requip that makes me want to gamble.
I have bankrupted myself. Now I have borrowed so much money with the pretence of paying bills and I gamble it away, but I can't borrow anymore. I can not work. I can not concentrate on anything.
Spent over $75,000. on scratch-off tickets. Damages are still coming in from spending.
I have become addicted to scratch tickets and Keno. I am constantly having to borrow money because I go through a weeks paycheck in an afternoon. I have not been able to pay my monthly obligations since all of my money goes to gambling. I have lied to friends and family to obtain money for gambling.
My father is and always has been a very responsible man who always took care of his family. He was diagnosed with Parkinsons 5 years ago. We found out in April that he is over 100,000 dollars in debt. He had been gambling online and buying scratch tickets. Not to mention taking trips to Las Vegas. My father never gambled before. Please we need help. Just 2 weeks ago we found out that he is gambling again. He is still on Requip and can't get in to see his Dr. until the 19th of March. This is tearing our family apart.
I started taking Requip a few years ago, and shortly after, began gambling uncontrollably. As a result, I lost every penny of savings, all my wages, and any other money I could get my hands on (credit card advances, loans, etc.) I evidentually filed bankruptcy, my husband divorced me, and had to sell my home. I am now living with my elderly mother, looking for a job, and attending school for a teaching certificate. Trying to mend my life. I really need help recovering this money. I would appreciate any help you could give. Thank you!
I developed a uncontrollable urge to gamble. I have lost the money my husband and I borrowed to start a business plus my job wages and money I have borrowed. I still sneak around to gamble. I tried to stop taking Reqip and my RLS gets worse and moves into the rest of body. I can't control my urges to eat and my family says my personality has changed and I need help professionally. My marriage is in trouble, we are in financial ruin, I lost my job and I can't stop.
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