Medicines that are used for treating Parkinson's disease often risks in leading to behavioral changes. Research has found that some of the changes in behavior will include compulsive shopping, sex and gambling addiction.
Parkinson's is a degenerative condition that occurs in the brain of the patient. This happens whenever cells in the brain die, creating deficiency in dopamine. People who suffer from this condition have problems with movement and coordination.
Since the disease is incurable, the use of treatment drugs for Parkinson's is mostly aimed in preventing symptoms related to the condition.
The latest type of drug used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease is called "dopamine agonist," introduced over a decade ago by Pfizer. The drug's mechanism of action is to replace the missing dopamine and mimic its role of nerve cell stimulation. Patients who use the drug have developed changes in behavior, many of which are extensions of existing traits.
In a new study, scientists have found that dopamine agonist drugs have the tendency in making patients to take part in compulsive shopping, hypersexuality, and pathological gambling. These behavioral issues usually disappear once they stop taking the drug.
The resulting behavioral changes are unwanted and have led to the dismay of many users of the drug. Charges were filed against Pfizer for the damages it has caused. More than 160 people claimed to have suffered from behavioral changes from using the treatment drug.
Legal proceedings transpired and after a four-year battle, a confidential in-principal deal was reached, one that would be costly payout for the drug manufacturer. Pfizer spokeswoman Helen Corcoran said the negotiated agreement was only a proposed settlement at this stage and the company could not comment until the matter had been resolved in court.