The following is from syndicated columnists Joe and Teresa Graedon, via the Seattle Times.
Q: I have endured restless legs syndrome (RLS) for years. I also suffer from extreme compulsive behavior, including shopping and gambling. I take Mirapex both evening and morning, as my RLS symptoms have become worse with age.
This medication has ruined my life. I discovered only recently that the compulsive behaviors are drug side effects.
A: Many people are surprised to learn that medicine taken for Parkinson’s disease or RLS is linked to bad behavior — gambling, hypersexuality or compulsive shopping. A reader reported that one of these, Requip (ropinirole), turned her into a big-time gambler. Another woman said this about Mirapex (pramipexole):
“I took Mirapex for a year. I was already taking Sinemet for Parkinson’s disease. I shopped compulsively, buying many things that I did not need. I filled closets with stuff, some of which I did not remember when I saw them later. Stopping Mirapex stopped the compulsive behavior. Not only was the drug itself expensive, I can only imagine how much it cost otherwise, in both money and health.”