What Is Pramipexole Used For?
Why Is Pramipexole Used for Parkinson's Disease?Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that results from the loss of neurons in a region of the brain that controls movement. This creates a shortage of the brain-signaling chemical (neurotransmitter) known as dopamine, causing the movement problems characteristic of Parkinson's disease. The exact cause of Parkinson's disease is not currently known.
Although early symptoms of Parkinson's disease may be subtle, people will eventually develop a characteristic tremor (trembling or shaking) of a limb, especially when the body is at rest. As the disease progresses, symptoms may worsen and new symptoms may appear.
Depending on the severity of a person's symptoms, Parkinson's disease treatment can include:
- Medications (see Medications for Parkinson's Disease)
- Lifestyle changes and support.
Pramipexole is approved to treat early and advanced Parkinson's disease, and can be used alone or in combination with other Parkinson's medications.
How Does Pramipexole Work?Pramipexole is classified as a dopamine agonist. This means that it works much like dopamine, a naturally occurring brain chemical. Pramipexole binds to dopamine receptors and stimulates these receptors, much like natural dopamine.
A dopamine deficiency caused by a loss of dopamine-producing cells in certain parts of the brain is responsible for many symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Using a medication that acts like dopamine, such as pramipexole, may help relieve some of the symptoms.
It is not known exactly how or why pramipexole works for restless legs syndrome.