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Drugs Help Parkinson’s Symptoms but Cause Other Side Effects

Tammy Rothwell thought that her new prescription drug Mirapex was a miracle for easing the symptoms of her Parkinson’s disease, but a new issue arose as her muscle tremors diminished. Rothwell had never gambled in her life and was careful with money until she began taking Mirapex and started compulsively spending $200 a day on lottery tickets and irrationally buying things like 100 tubes of lipstick. In two years, she spent more than $70,000. Rothwell reports feeling as though she was another person while on Mirapex, she had lost control over her actions.

Rothwell is not alone, however, a study was recently conducted that revealed more than 13 percent of patients taking a class of drug called dopamine agonists, which are sold under names like Mirapex and Requip, suffer from at least one of four behavioral addictions. Among the addictions are gambling problems, heightened sexual interest, compulsive spending, and compulsive eating. This news may change the way that doctors treat Parkinson’s patients. Read more here.