Personal Injury Lawyers - Representing People Nationwide
Cabergoline (Dostinex, Cabaser) and pergolide (Permax) are used by themselves, or in combination with other drugs to treat Parkinson's disease. They are also used to treat other conditions.
Dostinex, which was developed by Pfizer, is also used to treat prolactin-producing pituitary gland tumors, "restless leg syndrome", and to adjust hormone levels in some ovarian diseases. Permax, which was developed and initially manufactured by Eli Lilly, also has some veterinary uses. The rights to Permax are currently held by Valeant Pharmaceuticals.
Parkinson's is a progressive neurological disorder that impairs movement. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), about 50,000 new cases are reported in the U.S. each year.
Cabergoline and pergolide help compensate for the effects of dopamine deficiency in the brain that is associated with Parkinson's. But several studies, two of which were reported in January 2006 in the New England Journal Of Medicine (NEJM), found an alarmingly high rate of moderate to severe heart valve problems in patients being treated with these medications. The drugs appear to spur a multiplication of cells (proliferation) in heart valves that can cause them to thicken and not function properly, a phenomenon not unlike the one that led to the withdrawal in 1997 of the combination drugs known as fen-phen.
Despite the studies' findings, approximately 73,000 prescriptions for Permax were written in 2006 to treat the spasms, stiffness, tremors, and poor muscle control in those with Parkinson's disease. In March 2007, Permax was finally withdrawn from the market (cabergoline has not been withdrawn because it is approved for uses other than Parkinson's).
Other potential side effects of these drugs are listed below.
- GI tract irritation and dispepsia
- Central nervous system and psychiatric disturbances
- Edema, arrhythmia, palpitations, angina pectoris
- Cardiac fibrosis
- Raynaud's phenomenon (rarely)
If you or a loved one has been injured by Dostinex or Permax side effects, or if these side effects resulted in the death of a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation. A qualified pharmaceutical injury attorney can help you find out if such is the case. Please be aware, however, that by law you have a limited time to act.