Pergolide

Brand names of pergolide

  • Permax

In some countries Pergolide, an ergoline-based dopamine receptor agonist, is used to treat Parkinson's disease. The neurotransmitter (called dopamine) in the human brain is found in low levels in patients suffering with this disease. Pergolide and Dopamine share similar effects in the human body.

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Pergolide, an element of the medicinal class ergot alkaloids, is used with levodapa, or in conjunction with carbidopa and levodopa, to treat Parkinson's disease. This medication stimulates certain areas of the central nervous system (CNS), affected by the said disease. Pergolide is a prescription medication. In March 2007, this medicine was withdrawn from the US market due to heart valve related risks. Though Pergolide is no longer available in the US, it is used in some other nations to treat Parkinson's disease, hyperprolactinemia, and restless leg syndrome.

Prior to taking pergolide let your health care provider know

Consult your doctor before taking Pergolide if you are allergic to it, to ergot medications such as bromocriptine, or to other substances. Medical history related to low blood pressure, heart problems (such as fast/ irregular heartbeat, heart failure, heart valve problems), kidney problems, lung problems (e.g., pulmonary fibrosis), mental/mood disorders (such as confusion, hallucinations, psychosis, schizophrenia), sleep disorder (e.g., sleep apnea, narcolepsy) should be talked about with your doctor before using Pergolide. As drowsiness and dizziness are associated with this medication, you should refrain from driving, consuming alcohol, using machines, or doing any activity that asks for alertness. You can reduce dizziness and light-headedness when rising from a sitting or lying position by getting up slowly. Our kidneys become weaker as we grow older. That is why elderly people (using Pergolide) are prone to dizziness and hallucinations. Pregnant women should use this medication only when prescribed. Consult your doctor for learning about the risks and benefits. There is no evidence to prove that Pergolide passes (or does not pass) into breast milk. Hence, pregnant women should not breastfeed . If you are pregnant, and you want to breast feed your baby while using Pergolide, you should first talk to a doctor.

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Usage

Pergolide is used for treating Parkinson's disease. This medication may enhance your ability to move and decrease shakiness (tremor), stiffness, slowed movement, and unsteadiness. It may also decrease the on-off syndrome, which is actually the number of episodes of not being able to move . Being an ergot medication, Pergolide works by assisting in restoring the balance of a certain natural substance (dopamine) in the human brain. Owing to safety issues, Pergolide is no longer available in the United States. You must not stop the dosage of this medication suddenly. You can consult your doctor or pharmacist if you intend to choose alternative treatment using medications such as pramipexole and ropinirole.

How to use pergolide

This medication should be taken orally with or without food, thrice daily, or as prescribed by the medical practitioner. When Pergolide is taken with food, effects of nausea are minimized. For first timers, the doctor may gradually increase Pergolide dosage to minimize side effects like drowsiness and low blood pressure.

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Consume this drug as prescribed by the doctor. Do not alter the prescribed dosage of this medication. You must take Pegolide regularly, at precisely the same time. Patients using levodopa or a carbidopa/levodopa combination may be asked by the doctor to decrease levodopa dosage once they start taking Pergolide. You should stick to the doctor's prescription, and not stop taking this medication as this may result in withdrawal reactions such as fever, muscle stiffness, confusion, and hallucinations. Your doctor should be notified if any of these symptoms appear. Gradual reduction of Pergolide dosage may help prevent withdrawal symptoms while altering continued, regular treatment. Pergolide dosage depends on two factors- medical condition of the patient, and response to treatment. Patients using Pergolide report improvements only after a few weeks. However, if the symptoms do not show signs of improvement, or if they worsen, you must inform your doctor.

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How pergolide works

Pergolide stimulates receptor cells that work with the brain chemical (dopamine) to start and facilitate the smooth control of voluntary muscle movement.

Side effects

Serious
Common
  • nausea
  • dizziness or lightheadedness when standing or sitting up suddenly is particularly common when the medicament is first started but usually subsides with continued use
Less common
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Possible interactions

Herbal medicines or minerals:
Pergolide has been found to lower the blood pressure. Calcium and garlic also do the same. That is why one should consult the doctor before using calcium and garlic in the meals. People suffering with Parkinson's disease should not consume Calabar bean (chop nut, Fabia, ordeal nut etc.) orally as these contain the active ingredient physostigmine. Likewise, one should avoid taking Octacosanol (a cousin of vitamin E) if diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
Alcohol:
As alcohol can accelerate lowering of blood-pressure as well as the sedative effects of Pergolide, it should not be consumed.
Exposure to heat:
As higher temperature can lower the blood pressure inside the human body, one should exercise caution until the combined effects are evident.

Discontinuation

Pergolide should not be discontinued all of a sudden. This is because sudden withdrawal can result in confusion, paranoid thinking and severe hallucinations. You can talk to your doctor to create a schedule for gradual withdrawal of this medication.

Storage instructions

Pergolide should be stored 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) in a dry place, away from direct light. However, for shorter time, this medication can be stored at 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C). Pergolide should not be stored in the bathroom. Also, it should be kept away from kids and pets. Unless otherwise mentioned, you must not flush the medications down the urinal or the drain. If you do not need the product anymore, or if the medication has reached its expiry date, you should discard it in a proper manner. You can also talk to your pharmacist or your local waste disposal organization to learn about the correct ways to discard your product.

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