Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mirapex--should this drug be banned?

I've taken Mirapex for about three years now.

"MIRAPEX is a medication used in the treatment of moderate-to-severe primary restless legs syndrome (RLS). Restless legs syndrome is a neurological sensorimotor disorder characterized by an urge to move legs in an effort to alleviate the effects of leg symptoms.1 Clinical trials of patients taking MIRAPEX for RLS have demonstrated significant improvement in range of RLS symptoms compared with placebo.2,3

"Important Information about MIRAPEX: MIRAPEX is indicated for the treatment of moderate-to-severe primary Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).
Patients have reported falling asleep without perceived warning signs during activities of daily living, including operation of a motor vehicle, which sometimes resulted in accidents. Hallucinations and postural (orthostatic) hypotension may occur. In clinical trials for RLS, the most commonly reported side effects of MIRAPEX that were more frequent than with placebo are nausea (16% vs. 5%), headache (16% vs. 15%), fatigue (9% vs. 7%) and somnolence (6% vs. 3%).

It took me two and one-half years to figure out that it is this medication -- so effective in alleviating Restless Leg Syndrome symptoms --that makes me literally fall asleep while driving--without warning.  By the Grace of God I have not had an accident--I wake up as I head off the road.

Or fallen asleep while at the computer. With my face on the keyboard without a clue that I'm going to sleep. Scary stuff!

My doctor investigated other medications for substitution. Each one has the same effect: falling asleep without perceived warning. If you've never experienced Restless Leg Syndrome, count yourself VERY fortunate. It's worse than Fibromyalgia, that other bug-a-boo that plagues my existence. RLS can drive a person insane, I imagine. But knowing there's a possibility of having an accident is even worse!!

"What is restless leg syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome is a common cause of painful legs. The leg pain of restless leg syndrome typically eases with motion of the legs and becomes more noticeable at rest. Restless leg syndrome also features worsening of symptoms during the early evening or later at night. The characteristic nighttime worsening of symptoms in persons with restless legs syndrome frequency leads to insomnia.
Restless leg syndrome usually begins slowly. Over time, the legs become more affected. Less frequently, restless leg syndrome can affect the arms."

So, what's my point here? As my doctor and I were discussing Mirapex and its very negative effects, I began to get more and more apprehensive. Do without my RLS medication? A very terrifying thought (if you have RLS, you know what I mean--I hope you do not have it!). It means not being able to go to bed at night. Lying there with wildly thrashing legs is horrible!! That feeling. I would rather have a toothache, menstrual cramps, fibromyalgia pain, for pete's sake!! than restless legs.

My doctor and I concluded with a new prescription which I have not filled yet--still holding onto Mirapex. However, as I decreased from 2 to 1 tablet each night, I have dual results--I have kicking legs but they're not wild. I have some relief but not enough. I'll name the new medication at a later date after I have a trial run with it.

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A favorite souvenir

A favorite souvenir
These are my two girls from Ireland!

Judy's shared items

Books on my very ambitious TBR list (*denotes read)

  • *Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox
  • The Odd Women by George Gissing
  • The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson
  • How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell
  • The Cod Tale by Mark Kurlansky
  • In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
  • *Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
  • Dag Hammarskjold by Elizabeth Rider Montgomery
  • The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet by Rabbi Michael L. Munk
  • Children of Strangers by Lyle Saxon
  • Spiritual Writings by Flannery O'Connor
  • Nightmares and Visions: Flannery O'Connor and the Catholic Grotesque by Gilbert H. Muller
  • The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor
  • Flannery O'Connor's South by Robert Coles
  • Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
  • Sylvanus Now by Donna Morrissey
  • *Vincent de Paul by Margaret Ann Hubbard
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  • A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  • The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel
  • Readicide by Kelly Gallagher
  • *Ruined by Paula Morris
  • Say You're Not One of Them by Uwem Akpan
  • Wandering Star by J.M.G. Le Clezio
  • Silence by Shusaku Endo
  • *The Assault by Harry Mulisch
  • Kari's Saga by Robert Jansson
  • *The German Mujahid by Boualem Sansal
  • Western Skies by Joseph Conrad
  • *The Giver by Lois Lowery
  • *Imperium by Ryszard Kapuscinski

School Library Journal - NeverEndingSearch


A semester course in one book about the Soviet Union. Click on image for my review.