Q: What is Mirapex?
A: Mirapex, from the generic pramipexole, is a prescription medicine that belongs to “dopamine agonist” for treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Mirapex can be used alone, or in combination with levodopa or other medicines for treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Doctors prescribed Mirapex to treat Restless Leg Syndrome or RLS. Mirapex is produced by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and was granted approval in 1997 by the US Food and Drug Administration. Mirapex is distributed by Boehringer Ingelheim Parmaceuticals Inc.
Q: What is Parkinson’s disease?
A: Parkinson’s disease refers to medical condition called motor system disorder with four primary symptoms:
- Tremor or trembling
- Slowness of movement
- Postural instability or imbalance
Parkinson’s disease is caused by the loss of brain cells that generate a chemical known as dopamine.
Q: What is Restless Leg Syndrome or RLS?
A: Restless Leg Syndrome or RLS is a medical condition that can cause bad sensations, discomfort, and restlessness in the legs. RLS may be the result of the changes in dopamine levels, but the accurate cause is still not known. Low dosage of Mirapex seems to be effective in regulating the RLS symptoms in some individuals.
Q: Is there any recent news about Mirapex?
A: There were some reports of Parkinson’s disease and patients of RLS are suffering uncontrollable, compulsive desires while being treated with Mirapex or other dopamine agonist drugs. Among the behaviors that were reported cases were pathological gambling; hypersexuality or increased sexual thoughts, behavior, or feelings; and compulsive eating. The prescribing information of Mirapex states that the occurrence of compulsive behavior was low and they were basically irreversible with reduced doses or when treatment was discontinued. The suggested connection between the use of Mirapex and compulsive behavior is still under study.
Q: What are the precautions I should take before or while taking Mirapex?
A: Older patients are mostly more sensitive to the effects of Mirapex compared to younger adults. Hallucination may be experienced in older patients who are taking Mirapex. While taking Mirapex, it is essential that your healthcare provider should check on your progress regularly and to adjust your dosage when necessary. It is not recommended to stop taking Mirapex suddenly. Furthermore, since Mirapex may cause drowsiness, lightheaded, dizziness, eyesight problems, or problems on coordination, you should be sure that you know how to react to Mirapex before you drive, use machines, or do any activity that needs alertness, ability to think and see well, and good coordination.
Q: What should I tell the healthcare provider before he/she prescribes Mirapex?
A: Inform your healthcare provider if you:
- Have or any history of rare allergic reaction to Mirapex
- Have any allergies to substances such as preservatives, foods, or dyes
- Have eye problems, particularly with the retina
- Suffering from hallucination, hypotension, or postural hypotension
- Have kidney problems
- Are pregnant, or are planning to be pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding your baby
Q: What are the side effects of Mirapex?
A: The common side effects related with the use of Mirapex are:
- Involuntary movements and motions
- Upset stomach
- Extreme exhaustion
- Dry mouth
- Reduced sexual desire or ability
- Frequency of urination
Inform your healthcare provider if you experienced any of these symptoms are persistent or serious.
Contact your healthcare provider right away if your experience any of the following symptoms:
- High temperature
- Rigid muscles
- Muscle pain
- Increased sweating
- Sleepiness like falling asleep while eating or talking with somebody, or in the middle of another activity
Q: Is there any interaction between Mirapex and other medicines or foods?
A: Mirapex and some medicines can interact with one another. Inform your healthcare provider about all the medicines, including prescription and non-prescription drugs, particularly the carbidopa and levodopa combined like Sinement, or levodopa or Dopar and Larodopa. Mirapex can increase the side effects of levodopa. Your healthcare provider may have to adjust your dosage.
Q: What should I do if I think I have been injured as a consequence of using Mirapex?
A: If you or any of your family members have experienced any harmful symptoms or rare medical condition while using Mirapex, contact first your doctor or healthcare provider. Then, you may look for an experienced lawyer who will be able explain and discuss your options and to safeguard your rights to legal remedy for any injury which are caused by taking Mirapex.