Requip is used to treat Parkinson’s disease and has also been prescribed for the off-label use of treating restless leg syndrome (RLS). It has the same effect of dopamine, a chemical that occurs naturally in the body. Requip treats Parkinson’s symptoms such as stiffness, tremors, muscle spasms, and poor muscle control. It is classified as a dopamine agonist. This drug is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and was approved in 2003.

Requip and other similar drugs have been thought to cause pathological gambling and compulsive behaviors in patients. Some serious side effects that have been associated to this drug are the development of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), aggressive sexual impulses, overeating, personality changes and more.

A study conducted by the Mayo Clinic identified 11 Parkinson’s patients, all of whom developed a gambling problem after being prescribed a dopamine agonist. Another study conducted by Scotland’s Institute of Neurological Sciences found that approximately 18 percent of patients taking this classification of drug will develop a pathological gambling problem or compulsive behavior.

The drug works by mimicking dopamine, a chemical which produces a “rush” to people anticipating reward or excitement. People prescribed to these drugs have experienced this “rush” while gambling and participating in other harmful behaviors.

Many of the patients who suffered from these side effects had no history of compulsive behavior before taking the medication. These side effects can prove financially ruining, along with having severe repercussions in family and work life.

Serious side effects may include:

  • Feeling like you might pass out
  • Fever, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats (especially if you stop taking Requip or use a lower dose)
  • Hallucinations
  • Tremors (uncontrolled shaking)
  • Tight feeling in your chest, trouble breathing

Less serious side effects may include:

  • Mild nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or loss of appetite
  • Worsened RLS symptoms early in the morning
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Dry mouth, sweating
  • Headache
  • Dizziness, drowsiness
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Agitation or anxiety

This page is for informational purposes only.  Jacoby & Meyers is not currently accepting Requip cases.

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