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Worried about gambling addiction. Taking Pramipexole.

answered 05:27 PM EST, Thu August 18, 2011
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anonymous anonymous
I am a 67 year old man, recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s and prescribed pramipexole. My doctor told me to be aware that in some cases pramipexole can cause people to develop strange behaviors, like developing gambling problems.

My wife and I have gone on seniors trips to Atlantic City 2 or 3 times a year for since we both retired and we enjoy them quite a bit and they serve as very affordable mini vacations. Both of us like to gamble but not at high stakes.

Now that I am using pramipexole should I avoid gambling at all, to ensure that I don’t develop any problems with it? I can take it or leave it, at the moment, but it would be a shame to not go on these trips any longer.

Dr. David Sack Says...

The likelihood that an individual will develop compulsive behaviors on pramipexole is generally low. Compulsive gambling, spending, and sexual activity have all been reported. If you and your wife decide to go to Atlantic City there are some ground rules you may want to adopt as a precaution. First, don’t gamble alone. Your wife should accompany you whenever you are on the casino floor. Second, agree to an amount you are willing to lose before you go. Your wife will need to be comfortable being the enforcer here. Third, no credit or debit cards can be used to access money for gambling. Leave them locked in a safe in your room! Finally, and most important, if you or your wife notice other changes in your behavior (agitation, insomnia, spending etc.) call your doctor immediately and be prepared to leave early.
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Page last updated Aug 18, 2011

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