Thursday, January 20, 2011

What is an Agonist?

Post 37
An agonist is a drug that increases neurotransmitter activity by stimulating the dopamine receptors directly. An agonist imitates the brains naturally produced dopamine. Two popular dopamine agonists are ropinirole (Requip) and pramipexole (Mirapex). Dr. A prescribed the agonist pramipexole  (Mirapex) in an attempt to lower my dose of carbidopa/levodopa. At first, the combination worked very well, my motions were fluid and the head motion diminished to some degree. As time went on, the benefits diminished.
One disadvantage to a dopamine agonist is not medical, but financial. Pramipexole is expensive.
Another problem that is sometimes encountered with agonist use is impulse control disorder (ICD). This may include compulsive gambling, sexual addiction, overspending and overeating. In one study 13.6% of PD patients showed signs of ICD.
Makes me wonder.  I sometimes find myself eating a couple of bowls of cereal before bedtime. I’m working harder at the gym to keep my weight down. Staples is my new happy place. I like walking in the aisles looking at file folders and pens.  Am I ICD? ADD? OCD? DUMB? I’m certainly not acronym challenged!

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