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Permax and Dostinex Linked to Heart Valve Damage
Two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine confirmed that the use of the Parkinson's drugs Permax (pergolide) and Dostinex (cabergoline) increase the risk of heart valve damage. This is the same type of heart damage that led to the withdrawal of the diet drug combination Fen-Phen.
Permax and Dostinex are also prescribed to treat the tremors associated with restless leg syndrome.
The studies revealed that patients who take Permax, manufactured by Eli Lilly & Co., and Dostinex, manufactured by Pfizer, Inc., had a much higher risk of heart valve damage than those taking other therapies.
One of the studies, which looked at the medical records of 11,417 patients in Britain, showed that patients taking the highest doses of pergolide (Permax) had a 37 times greater risk of developing heart valve damage than those who took other medicines.
Additionally, the patients taking the highest doses of cabergoline (Dostinex) had a 50.3 times greater risk of developing heart valve damage.
The other study tested 245 Italian patients, of whom 155 had Parkinson's disease. Of these patients, 23.4 percent of those taking pergolide (Permax) and 28.6 percent of those taking cabergoline (Dostinex) suffered heart damage compared to just 5.6 percent in the control group.
Both drugs are in the class of medications known as dopamine agonists. They activate a cellular receptor known as 5-HT2b that can cause damage to the heart valve. This is a serious condition than can lead to heart failure and sudden death.
If you or your loved one has suffered a Permax or Dostinex injury, contact us today. Submit the form to the right and we’ll let you know if you have a case and if we can represent you.