Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Gambling Addiction or Drug Side Effect?

Parkinson's Drug Tied to Gambling Addiction
Joe Neglia was a retired government intelligence worker with Parkinson's disease (search) when he suddenly developed what he calls a gambling habit from hell.

After losing thousands of dollars playing slot machines near his California home several times a day for nearly two years, Neglia stumbled across an Internet report linking a popular Parkinson's drug he used with compulsive gambling.

"I thought, 'Oh my God, this must be it,"' he said. Three days after stopping the drug, Mirapex (search), "all desire to gamble just went away completely. I felt like I had my brain back."
But there's more:
Neglia, 54, now living in Millersville, Md., was not treated at Mayo or involved in the study. He said the problem is underreported "because of the embarrassment factor" and is one of several patients suing manufacturer Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., accusing the company of failing to adequately warn patients about the potential side effects.