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Permax and Dostinex Information

What is Permax? What is Dostinex?

Permax and Dostinex are drugs from a class of medications called ergot-derived dopamine receptor agonists and used in the treatment of Parkinson's, restless leg syndrome, and migraine headaches. Other ergot-derived dopamine receptor drugs include the now banned diet drug Fen-phen, and all are associated with heart valve disease. Permax (pergolide) has been found in studies to make a patient five to seven times more likely to have leaky heart valves than those patients who use other drug therapies for Parkinson's. Dostinex (cabergoline) has only been approved for sale in the United States to treat hyperprolactinemia, a condition in which excessive amounts of the hormone prolactin enter the bloodstream due to benign tumors of the pituitary gland.

It has been shown in two studies that Permax and Dostinex interact with a receptor in the heart valve, causing the valve to overgrow and become floppy and leaky. Of the two, only Permax currently has a black box warning addressing the increased risk of heart valve problems in patients.

FDA Asks Manufacturer to Withdraw Permax From the Market
Permax (pergolide) manufacturer Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has acquiesed to the FDA's request to voluntarily withdraw its Parkinson's drug Permax from the market following reports of heart valve damage in patients taking Permax. In 2003 a Dear Doctor letter was issued to healthcare professionals warning of potential for adverse side effects, including heart valve damage. The drug has carried a black box warning since 2006 about the heart valve problems and use of the product has been steadily declining since then.


Permax and Dostinex Increase Risk of Damage to Heart Valve
Two separate studies published in the January 2007 New England Journal of Medicine conclude patients taking Permax or Dostinex, two drugs commonly used to treat Parkinson's, restless leg syndrome, and migraine headaches, are four to seven times more likely to suffer from heart valve damage than patients on alternative drug therapies.


Permax and Dostinex Side Effects: Heart Valve Damage Similar to Fen-phen
Patients who take Permax or Dostinex are four to seven times more likely to suffer damage to their heart valves than patients who did not take either of these medications. The January 4, 2007 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) contains articles about two case studies that provide some of the strongest evidence that treatment with the Parkinson's disease drugs Permax (pergolide) and Dostinex (cabergoline) can cause cardiac-valve dysfunction.


Permax and Dostinex Class Actions
We believe that people who suffered a serious injury or death due to Permax or Dostinex are better served when an individual lawsuit is filed on their behalf. A serious injury or death case should not be filed as part of any Permax or Dostinex class action together with the claims of many other people who may have had different injuries with varying levels of severity.


Permax and Dostinex and Legal Compensation
If you experienced serious side effects from the use of Permax or Dostinex, or a person died due to an adverse reaction while using the Permax or Dostinex, you may have a claim for legal compensation. The applicable statute of limitation, or deadline to file claims, varies from state to state, and the personal injury statute of limitation deadline can be different from the wrongful death statute of limitation deadline within the same state.


MedWatch - Permax (pergolide) Dear Healthcare Professional letter written by Eli Lilly in July 2003
Warnings section of the US Package Insert for Permax will be modified as follows:
Serous Inflammation and Fibrosis--There have been rare reports of pleuritis, pleural effusion, pleural fibrosis, pericarditis, pericardial effusion, cardiac valvulopathy involving one or more valves . . . in patients taking pergolide . . .Pergolide should be used with caution in patients with a history of these conditions, particularly those patients who experienced the events while taking ergot derivatives.
FDA Public Health Advisory
The FDA is working with the manufacturers of pergolide to determine if it is possible to make the drug available to those few patients who are currently taking pergolide where previous efforts to switch to a different treatment have been unsuccessful, or where efforts subsequent to this advisory to switch therapies are also unsuccessful. In the interim, healthcare professionals and patients should consider all treatment options with the understanding that in the future, the drug may no longer be available.


Free Permax and Dostinex Case Evaluation
The information you provide to us for this Free Case Evaluation will be treated as strictly confidential.  You will get a reply from us no later than the next business day.  Submitting a case evaluation does not obligate you to hire our law firm for your lawsuit.  We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will make no payment for our legal services until after we have succeeded in getting legal compensation for you.

Drug Injury Watch: Permax and Dostinex


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  • Reports of serious drug side effects should be made to the US FDA MedWatch program.
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