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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Permax

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Permax Side Effect [posted 10/6/98]
Question:I have been taking Permax 1mg twice a day, for restless legs, since November 1997. What are the side effects of Permax? How long can it be taken? What happens when it is no longer as effective?

Answer: Permax belongs to a class of drugs called dopamine receptor agonists. In general, tolerance does not develop. However, we generally don't have great drugs for RLS so if it works keep with it. Most side effects center on the nervous system- anxiety, hallucinations, dyskinesis, etc. It also produces headaches and difficulty with blood pressure control(usually low). Nausea and vomiting are also seen. Long term side effects do not seem to differ markedly from short term side effects.

Permax Side Effect - Nausea [posted 8/11/98]
Question: I take permax to regulate the pituitary. It makes me sick almost every time I take it. Are there any other medications that work the same, but won't make me so nauseated?

Answer: There are a couple of different ones, but they all have the side effect of nausea. Try decreasing the dosage somewhat, usually all that works.

Permax and Peripheral Vascular Disease [posted 7/23/98]
Questions: CBS news said permax could be used in small doses for the Peripheral Vascular Disease witch causes antsy leg feelings and sleep problems. You feel uncontrollable needs to move your legs or get up and walk or run to get relief. I was so excited to hear there might be help for me but after reading the Permax Draxis Health I'm afraid to pursue this. Can you give me any further information?

Answer: There are many medications utilized for restless leg syndrome. Most have some toxicity and you need to be monitored for the particular toxicity of the medication while you are seeing if it affects the syndrome. RLS differs markedly from peripheral vascular disease - whether Permax is useful in either is unclear.

Side Effect Information
Question: I would like any information, especially long term use and side effect info., on the drug permax. I was diagnosed as having hyperprolactinemia with amenorrhea and galactorrhea and am currently taking .25 mg daily. I have recently read that it has not been approved for use in the U.S. I would appreciate any information concerning permax.

Answer:Permax(pergolide mesylate) is a drug used for its dopamine receptor agonist ability. It is primarily used as a drug to treat Parkinson's Disease. Although not currently listed as an indication, it is often used to treat hyperprolactinemia(an overproduction of a pituitary hormone). The most common problem is CNS problems, especially hallucinations, confusion and general nervous system complaints. Nausea and vomiting also limit this drug in some. The most bothersome is its ability to cause cardiac irregularities and low blood pressure. Several elderly patients died during drug trials;but, it is not clear whether the drug was the cause. Long term side effects are currently unclear since the drug is fairly new.
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