The FDA said yesterday that Mirapex, a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease and restless leg syndrome, may cause heart failure.
I don’t think anything is conclusive, but results of recent studies indicate a potential risk of heart failure. More studies are necessary to confirm these findings but if you are taking Mirapex, you have to be concerned. This was not just a single study that could have gone awry. Instead, the study looked at pooled analysis of multiple randomized clinical trials. Researchers found that heart failure occurred more frequently in patients taking Mirapex than in patients taking a placebo.
Should you stop taking Mirapex because of this risk to your heart? Well, one good rule of thumb is don’t make medical decisions based on what you read on a legal blog. Really, you should be talking to your doctor about the potential risks and your options. The FDA agrees, saying that patients taking Mirapex should continue to do so and consult their doctors.
I am unaware of any personal injury lawsuits related to Mirapex. Interestingly, it has been subject to lawsuits alleging that it can cause compulsive behavior, most notably gambling. Mirapex was approved in 1997, but Boehringer Ingelheim waited 8 years to place a compulsive behavior warning on the drug. There was an MDL and a $8.2 million verdict in one case, but I don’t know how it all turned out. I suspect the cases were resolved and future claims were extinguished by a good warning.
You can read more about potential heart problems with Mirapex here.