Mirapex is a trade name for a drug called pramipexole. The drug is prescribed to treat the tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease, and restless leg syndrome (RLS). Besides the relatively benign side effects of nausea, mild fever, and loss of appetite, the drug has caused a small number of patients to experience more unusual side effects.
A small number of patients have reported psychiatric side effects, as well as physical effects. These have included hallucinations, sleepwalking, and even behaviors associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder. The most unusual compulsive behavior associated with the drug as been compulsive gambling. A 2005 study suggested a link between taking Mirapex and compulsive pleasure-seeking behavior, including gambling, shopping, eating, and sex.
This has led to some lawsuits claiming that the manufacturer of the drug should compensate patients for financial losses as a result. This is a unique issue – most lawsuits against drug companies are over physical illness or injury associated with the drug, rather than financial losses caused by compulsive gambling.
It is not impossible for plaintiffs to prevail in such a case, however. In most products liability cases, all that needs to be shown is that the product had a defect, and that this defect caused some kind of harm. Recently, a compulsive gambler was awarded $8.2 million by a federal jury in a lawsuit against the manufacturer of Mirapex.