Consumer Alert: Mirapex May Cause Compulsive Gambling Disorder

July 26, 2005

March 2006 Update - Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. has filed lawsuits on behalf of clients who developed a compulsive gambling disorder while on Mirapex.

According to a study by Mayo Clinic doctors released in July 2005, the drug Mirapex may cause compulsive gambling addictions.1 The Mayo study builds upon earlier research which suggested a link between dopamine agonist drugs, like Mirapex, and compulsive gambling. For example, a study published in 2003 by researchers at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Research Center at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Arizona found increased pathological gambling in those being treated with high-dose dopamine agonist therapy, and in particular with Mirapex.2

Mirapex, which is also known as pramipexole, is prescribed to treat symptoms of Parkinson's Disease and other movement disorders like restless leg syndrome. As a dopamine agonist, Mirapex stimulates nerves in the brain which are normally stimulated by dopamine, a brain chemical that helps control motor functions and movement. Mirapex is the most commonly prescribed drug in its class.

Mirapex is manufactured and distributed by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, a company headquartered in Germany, and by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in New York.

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[1] M. Leann Dodd, M.D, Kevin J. Klos, MD, James H. Bower, MD, Yonas E. Geda, MD, Keith A. Josephs, MST, MD, J. Eric Ahlskog, PhD, MD, Pathological Gambling Caused by Drugs Used to Treat Parkinson Disease, Archives of Neurology, Vol. 62, Sept. 2005. [2] E. Driver-Dunckley, MD, J. Samanta, MD, M. Stacy, MD, Pathological Gambling Associated With Dopamine Agonist Therapy in Parkinson's Disease, Neurology, Vol. 61, August 2003.

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Tara D. Sutton


Chair, National Mass Tort Group

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