A piece in the Concord monitor discusses the issue of warning labels on drugs to treat Parkinson’s disease:
Drug manufacturers say anecdotal reports from patients such as Kanuch do not constitute scientific evidence, but they say they have updated warning labels anyway. Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which sells Permax, a dopamine enhancer, said the matter is under litigation but it has told physicians: “As with other dopamine agonists, compulsive self-rewarding behavior (e.g., pathologic gambling) and libido increase have been reported in patients.”
Boehringer Ingelheim, which makes Mirapex, another dopamine booster, said it has toughened its warning label but said that company officials are still exploring the connection. Eli Lilly & Co, which used to sell Permax, said there is no scientific consensus on the issue and suggested that gambling problems may be linked to the increased accessibility of legalized gambling.
Still, a recent analysis headed by FDA scientist Ana Szarfman found a sharp increase in reports of pathological gambling among people taking dopamine agonists. The statistics from a federal adverse-events database are not conclusive, but FDA officials regularly mine the data to spot red flags.
Source: Concord Monitor.