Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological condition marked by an uncontrollable need to move the legs in reaction to painful or uncomfortable sensations. The feelings can range from a burning to an aching, to a feeling similar to bugs crawling on the inside of a person's legs. RLS is a condition that significantly affects millions of people. Individuals who suffer from restless leg syndrome often have an urge to move their legs while what they really want to do is rest. Getting up and moving around is often the only way people can relieve their symptoms, which can impact their ability to relax or sleep.
For many years people with restless leg syndrome suffered without any beneficial treatment. If individuals have an iron or vitamin deficiency, RLS may be attributed to it. In such cases, doctors may recommend taking iron pills or B12 vitamins. Other lifestyle factors may also be examined to determine if they are contributing to restless leg syndrome symptoms. There are some medications that are available to treat RLS.
Parkinson's disease is the second most common form of neurodegenerative disorder, affecting an estimated 1 million people in the United States. It affects the nervous system of the body, limiting individuals' ability to control some of their muscles. Parkinson's disease is caused by a slow, gradual loss of certain brain cells which make a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is used by the body to make muscles work correctly. This disease can cause problems with muscle movement and control. It may be characterized by tremors, which are slight, uncontrolled shaking movements of the arms or legs. In addition, Parkinson's disease may cause muscles to feel stiff and rigid, making it difficult for people to move. Although Parkinson's disease is more common in older adults, people can begin to show symptoms of the disease before the age of 40.
Mirapex, the active ingredient of which is pramipexole, has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. It is used to treat moderate to severe restless leg syndrome, as well as Parkinson's disease. Mirapex works like dopamine by stimulating nerve cells that control movement. With drug treatment, RLS symptoms such as the need to constantly move the legs is generally relieved. Miraplex has also been shown to significantly improve tremor symptoms in patients.
As with any sort of pharmaceutical drug, there are risks and side effects that are associated with the use of Mirapex. Common side effects of Mirapex include a feeling of drowsiness or falling asleep while performing daytime activities; feeling faint or dizzy upon standing; nausea; and headache. In addition, some people who take Mirapex experience hallucinations. Impulse control disorders and compulsive disorders have also been associated with Mirapex; side effects may include an increased sexual desire or urges to gamble, eat or shop compulsively.
In 2008, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter to the president of the Boehringer-Ingelheim, the manufacturer of Mirapex. The warning letter noted that pharmacy printouts for consumers failed to list any risks associated with Mirapex, which is a violation of FDA governing drug regulations. It was noted by the FDA that omission of such information was misleading to consumers, particularly since the printouts did make efficacy claims but failed to list any of the important risks of the drug. The Food and Drug Administration considered this omission to be a public health and safety issue.
There were incidents associated with Mirapex in which people developed serious gambling addictions, feel asleep at the wheel while driving, or had hallucinations that caused them to do things they would not normally do. In the event that you or a loved one were unaware of the risks of Mirapex due to the omission of risk factors on a pharmacy printout, and suffered a serious injury or developed a compulsive addiction as a result, it is recommended you contact an attorney. An attorney who is knowledgeable about pharmaceutical issues or personal injury can review your case and determine if you can make a claim against the pharmaceutical manufacturer.