Common drugs prescribed for restless leg syndrome and Parkinson’s disease can cause frantic sexual urges, compulsive gambling and an uncontrollable desire to go shopping, a study has revealed.
Men are most likely to fall victim to the ‘unusual and severe’ impulse control disorders – and millions could be at risk, as dopamine receptor agonists are commonly prescribed around the world.
The drugs, dopamine receptor agonists, have been associated with 710 incidents of ‘unusual and severe’ impulse control disorders such as hypersexuality.
Victims of hypersexuality feel sudden or frequent sexual urges which are hard to control in some cases.
The analysis was based on adverse drug reports from commonly prescribed drugs such as pergolide, ropinirole, cabergolin and rotigotine.
The drugs are used widely for Parkinson’s and restless leg syyndrome, with 2.1 million prescriptions in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Most of the victims were male (65.8%), and with an average age of 55.
"Our findings confirm and extend the evidence that dopamine receptor agonist drugs are associated with serious impulse control disorders,’ writes Thomas Moore of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.
"The associations were significant, the magnitude of the effects was large and the effects were seen for all six dopamine receptor agonist drugs. At present, none of the dopamine receptor agonist drugs… have boxed warnings about the potential for the development of severe impulse control disorders as part of their prescribing information."