A recent study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine, found that ten percent of patients on medications for Parkinson’s disease face an increased risk of developing an impulse control disorder. Researchers looked at FDA data from 2.7 million domestic and international adverse drug events and were able to conclude that these patients experienced higher rates of impulsive gambling, hypersexuality, and compulsive shopping. Since this class of medications mimic dopamine at the level of the receptor, psychiatric side effects are presenting in a good deal of these patients. Furthermore, researchers added that this data is most likely an underrepresentation of what is truly occurring, as many people may keep these issues to themselves. Nevertheless, since there are limited options for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and these agents have proven to be efficacious, the risks should be more properly assessed and discussed between health practitioners and patients. In your practice, how do you discuss the risks associated with dopamine receptor agonists with your patients?
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