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Mirapex and Gambling

Reports of compulsive behaviors have occurred in people taking Mirapex. Gambling, hypersexuality, and binge eating were among compulsive behaviors that suddenly developed in people taking the drug who did not have a history of these problems. Although it is difficult to say with certainty that Mirapex causes these behaviors, it is something to watch for if you are taking this medication.

Mirapex and Gambling: An Overview

Mirapex® (pramipexole dihydrochloride) is a prescription medication used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS) and Parkinson's disease. Compulsive behaviors, including gambling, have been reported as possible side effects of medications such as Mirapex.

Can Mirapex Really Cause Compulsive Gambling?

After Mirapex 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? A few studies have attempted to examine this issue, but it is usually difficult to study such rare and strange side effects using traditional studies. At this point, it is difficult to say with certainty that Mirapex causes compulsive gambling. However, enough cases have occurred that it is a good idea for people taking the drug to watch for signs of compulsive behaviors.
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