Dopamine agonist Mirapex (Pramipaxole) is a dopamine agonist that is prescribed for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Mirapex (Pramipaxole) is the most often prescribed drug in its class. Mirapex (Pramipaxole) has been shown to be effective in treating the symptoms of early disease without levodopa. During the advanced stages, taking Mirapex (Pramipaxole) in combination with levodopa/carbidopa may provide the additional benefit of reducing the dose of levodopa that is needed. In clinical studies, patients recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease had improvement in their activities of daily living in as early as week 2 of treatment. Mirapex (Pramipaxole) can be used alone, or in combination with other therapies, and Mirapex (Pramipaxole) is effective in treating both early and advanced stages of the disease. To understand how Mirapex (Pramipaxole) works, it's important to understand how Parkinson's disease works. People with Parkinson's disease do not produce enough dopamine in their brains. Among other things, dopamine is necessary for smooth, voluntary movement. When not enough dopamine is available, people can experience the tremors, rigidity, and other symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease. Mirapex (Pramipaxole) belongs to a class of drugs known as "dopamine agonists." Mirapex (Pramipaxole) works by mimicking the action of dopamine in the brain. Mirapex (Pramipaxole) can be used as a single therapy during the early stages of Parkinson's disease. Levodopa may then be spared until needed, often several years.
MIRAPEX side effects can cause drowsiness and the possibility of suddenly falling asleep during daily activities, which could result in an accident while driving. The most common MIRAPEX side effects are nausea, sleeplessness, constipation, involuntary movement, dizziness upon standing, and hallucinations.
Dopamine agonists are drugs that stimulate the parts of the human brain that receive dopamine. In effect, the brain "thinks" it is receiving dopamine, so these drugs help satisfy the brain's need for dopamine. The most commonly used dopamine agonists in the United States include Parlodel, Permax, MIRAPEX, and Requip.
Parlodel and Permax are synthetic derivatives of natural products produced by a fungus called "ergot." The side effects are similar to those of levodopa: nausea, vomiting, confusion, hallucinations, lightheadedness, and fainting. A rare side effect known as fibrosis (ie, thickening or scarring of the membrane lining of body organs) has also been reported.