Levodopa Side Effects Injury Lawsuits. Levodopa is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease including tremors (shaking), stiffness, and slowness of movement. Levodopa is also prescribed to treat herpes zoster (shingles) and restless leg syndrome. Mirapex, Permax and Requip, widely prescribed dopamine agonists in the same class as Levodopa, have been associated with gambling addiction and compulsive behaviors. Levodopa works by prompting the brain to naturally create dopamine. Levodopa is sold in the United States under the brand names Dopar and Larodopa. Although Levodopa prescribed by itself is not linked to gambling, an estimated 30 percent of Parkinson’s patients are still prescribed dopamine agonists like Mirapex.
Parkinson’s Drugs Study Results
- Department of Medical Genetics at the University of Calgary Report. The average gambling losses of the patients involved was $112,000, stated Oksana Suchowersky, head of the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, Suchowersky said 12 of 195 of her patients – only those on combination therapy – developed the pathological behavior.
- Toronto Western Hospital & Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke, National Institutes of Health Report An additional study, also by a Canadian doctor, found similar results. Valerie Voon, a consultant at the Toronto Western Hospital and a researcher at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, discovered pathological gambling in 10 of 297 patients. She also identified five patients who developed hypersexuality and two others who became compulsive shoppers. Based upon the study results, researchers estimated that between 6% to 16% of Parkinson’s patients who are on combination therapy (Levodopa plus another drug) develop gambling addictions.