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Mirapex Side Effects for Restless Leg Syndrome: A Trip to Hell

My sister has been to hell and back as a result of the medication Mirapex, which she was taking for restless leg syndrome.

RLS and Mirapex

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a not uncommon condition wherein the person has an almost uncontrollable urge to move their legs. It very often results in a severe loss of sleep; people suffering from RLS often spend the night simply pacing the floor to alleviate the symptoms.

Mirapex, or Mirapex-ER, is manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals and is widely used to help combat Parkinson's Disease and RLS. The primary ingredient is Pramipexole, which has a decided effect on the dopamine receptors of the brain. The exact mechanism of the drug is unknown.

Unfortunately, Mirapex has quite a range of side effects, many of which are quite unpleasant.

Many drugs can add considerably to quality of life, but Mirapex may not be one of them. Photo by Ragesoss

Many drugs can add considerably to quality of life, but Mirapex may not be one of them. Photo by Ragesoss

Mirapex Side Effects

The side effects of Mirapex are numerous and varied. The web site of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals lists the following possible side effects:

  • nausea or vomiting
  • sleepiness
  • hallucinations
  • constipation
  • insomnia
  • muscle weakness
  • confusion

Many other side effects are listed, as well. Other sites, such as drugs.com, list additional side effects, including a propensity to become addicted to gambling. It is this addiction that has prompted this article.

RLS runs in my own family and my sister has suffered for years from this condition. She has taken Mirapex for years with generally good luck in controlling the symptoms. Unfortunately it has also led to a gambling addiction. It has been a most insidious evolution, proceeding so slowly that it was not noticed until far too late. It has been a most unpleasant experience.