Parkinsons Disease Home > Mirapex ER and Impulse Control
Clinical studies have shown that impulse control problems may occur when using Mirapex ER (pramipexole ER). Impulse control may include compulsive behaviors such as gambling, hypersexuality, and binge eating. However, it can be difficult to determine whether these problems are specifically caused by the medication.
Does Mirapex ER Cause Impulse Control Problems?Mirapex® ER™ (pramipexole ER) is a prescription medication used to treat Parkinson's disease. Problems with impulse control have been reported as possible side effects of medications such as Mirapex ER. Impulse control problems might include things such as gambling, hypersexuality, or compulsive buying.
In studies of this drug, researchers asked people specifically about problems with impulse control. In these studies, up to 2.2 percent of people taking Mirapex ER had problems with impulse control, compared to 2.8 percent of people taking short-acting Mirapex and 2 percent of people taking a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients).
How It All StartedAfter Mirapex (the short-acting version of Mirapex ER) was approved, a few reports of compulsive behaviors, such as gambling, hypersexuality, and binge eating, were reported in people taking the drug. Some of these cases received quite a bit of media attention, due to their strange circumstances.
A typical case might involve an elderly person with no history of gambling problems who suddenly began gambling compulsively after starting Mirapex. While such stories might seem amusing at first, such behaviors can be destructive, embarrassing, and confusing to the people affected.
Although these cases are interesting, do they "prove" that Mirapex causes gambling or other compulsive behaviors? At this point, it is difficult to say with certainty that Mirapex directly causes such problems.