Dostinex & Permax

The Nature of the Drug: Dostinex (cabergoline) which is manufactured by Pfizer, Inc., and Permax (pergolide mesylate) which is manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company, are dopamine agonists that are prescribed for Parkinson’s disease, restless-leg syndrome, or the hormonal disorder hyperprolactinemia.

Parkinson’s develops when the brain stops producing the neurotransmitter dopamine; a dopamine agonist treats the condition by stimulating the parts of the brain that are normally activated by dopamine, mimicking that brain chemical’s function. Although Dostinex has been approved in Europe to treat Parkinson’s disease, it has been approved in the United States only to treat hyperprolactinemia, a condition in which the pituitary gland overproduces the hormone prolactin. But U.S. doctors have prescribed the drug for Parkinson’s.

The Hazards of Dostinex and Permax: Dostinex and Permax can damage heart valves, causing leaks and heart failure in some cases. A few patients have died using one of the drugs. Patients using Permax to treat Parkinson’s disease have a five or six-times-higher risk of developing leaky heart valves compared to people using other drugs to treat Parkinson’s.

Symptoms of heart-valve disease caused by Dostinex or Permax may include shortness of breath, heart palpitations, edema (swelling of feet, ankles, or abdomen), weakness, dizziness, and rapid weight change. Dostinex and Permax users have also experienced pulmonary fibrosis, damage to aortic and mitral valves, and the condition valvular heart disease. Some users have needed heart-valve replacement surgery, which has exposed them to the additional health risks associated with the surgery.
The damage from heart-valve disease, heart-valve surgery, and other serious problems that Dostinex and Permax can cause has led users to file many lawsuits against the drugs’ manufacturers.

To Obtain Legal Relief: People who have suffered heart-valve disease or other heart problems while taking Dostinex or Permax may have valuable legal rights. Attorney Stephen A. Katz is available at (800) 251-3529 for a free consultation, or for legal representation.