Medicines that are prescribed to quiet the tremors of Parkinsonís disease may be associated with a risk of pathological gambling. This is according to an analysis of adverse drug reactions reported to the Food And Drug Administration and reported in the 2/15/06 edition of the Wall Street Journal.
The strongest connection to gambling was for Mirapex, generically known as pramipexolene. Mirapex accounted for 58% of reports of pathological gambling in an FDA database of more than 2.5 million adverse drug reports that date back to 1968. Five other Parkinsonís drugs showed high risks as well.
These results are consistent with earlier observations and add to the body of evidence that suggest that Parksinsonís drugs may lead to impulsive behavior. The idea is that these drugs make up for a depletion in dopamine, the brain chemical whose deficiency indicates the presence of the disease. Researchers found no reports of gambling problems for patients who take antipsychotic drugs, which tend to inhibit dopamine.
The Journal article quoted medical sources as saying that the gambling problem remains an uncommon risk and that people who need the medications should not be afraid to take them. Still, family members of patients taking Mirapex and other Parkinsonís medications might want to be on the lookout for impulsive behavior that might lead to trouble.
Note: The above article is for information purposes only. It does not constitute recommendations by the WACC, which assumes no responsibility for the material contained therein. Readers with questions regarding any of the medications mentioned are strongly encouraged to do more research on their own, and to speak with their doctor. Remember: youíre a partner in your healthcare!