|Type of medicine||Dopamine receptor agonist|
|Used for||Parkinson's disease
Restless legs syndrome
|Also called||Mirapexin®, Mirapexin® Prolonged Release
|Available as||Tablets and prolonged-release tablets (pramipexole is released over a longer period to give a more even effect)|
Pramipexole is used to treat Parkinson's disease. The cause of Parkinson's disease is still unknown, but it results in there being less of a chemical in the brain called dopamine. This lack of dopamine causes the symptoms of Parkinsonism such as shaking, stiffness and loss of muscle control. Pramipexole encourages the release of dopamine, relieving these symptoms. It may be used alone or in combination with other medicines used to treat Parkinson's disease.
Pramipexole can also be used to treat restless legs syndrome. This is an uncomfortable feeling in the legs which is temporarily relieved by moving the legs. Symptoms come on when resting and are worse at the end of the day.
Before taking pramipexole
Before taking pramipexole make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you have ever had any mental health problems.
- If you have heart problems or disease of the blood vessels.
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine.
How to take pramipexole
- Before starting pramipexole, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack.
- Take your doses exactly as your doctor has told you. How many doses you need each day will depend upon which form of tablets you have been given and the reason why you are taking them.
- Your doctor will increase your dose gradually, so you should follow the instructions given to you carefully.
- Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. You can take them before or after meals.
- If you have been given the prolonged-release tablets (Mirapexin® Prolonged Release) make sure you swallow the tablets whole. They must not be chewed or crushed.
- If you are being treated for restless legs syndrome, take your dose 2-3 hours before your bedtime. Your doctor will reassess your condition after 3 months of treatment.
- If you forget to take a dose, leave out the missed dose and take your next dose when it is due. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Keep your regular appointments with your doctor so your progress can be monitored.
- Your doctor may want to check your blood pressure particularly in the early days of your treatment as pramipexole may reduce your blood pressure.
- Do not stop taking pramipexole suddenly as this could cause problems. If you need to stop this treatment, speak to your doctor who will reduce your dose gradually if needed.
- In the first few days after taking this medicine you may experience dizziness when getting up from a sitting or lying position. Getting up slowly should help reduce this.
- Get your eyes tested regularly since pramipexole may affect your vision.
- Your doctor will have discussed with you the possibility of unwanted side-effects. Let your doctor know if you start to suddenly fall asleep, experience dizziness or fainting, or develop impulsive behaviours.
Can pramipexole cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common side-effects - these affect about 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this|
|Feeling or being sick||Stick to simple or bland foods - avoid rich or spicy foods|
|Dizziness, fainting||Getting up slowly may help. If you begin to feel dizzy, lie down so that you do not faint, then sit for a few moments before standing to prevent the dizziness returning.
If this affects you, do not drive or operate machinery and do not drink alcohol as it may increase feelings of dizziness
|Constipation||Try to eat a well balanced diet containing plenty of fibre and drink 6 - 8 glasses of water each day|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headaches continue, let your doctor know|
|Seeing things that are not actually there (hallucinating)||Speak to your doctor about this|
|Difficulty sleeping, tiredness, unusual dreams, falling asleep suddenly without warning||If any of these become troublesome, let your doctor know. If you suddenly start falling asleep, avoid driving and see your doctor as soon as possible|
Important: Speak to your doctor if you notice any changes in your behaviour such as increased desire to gamble, over-eat or an increased sex drive.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store pramipexole
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 60th Edition (September 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Mirapexin® tablets (0.088mg, 0.18mg, 0.35mg, 0.7mg and 1.1mg); Manufacturer's PIL, Mirapexin® tablets (0.088mg, 0.18mg, 0.35mg, 0.7mg and 1.1mg), Boehringer Ingelheim Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated October 2010.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Mirapexin® prolonged-release tablets; Manufacturer's PIL, Mirapexin® prolonged-release tablets, Boehringer Ingelheim Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated October 2010.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen|
|Last Checked: 23/03/2011||Document ID: 3219 Version: 24||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.