Pergolide is a drug product used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, marketed by Valeant under the trade name Permax and sold and manufactured as the generic drug pergolide by Par and Teva. Pergolide is a member of a class of drugs known as dopamine agonists, and is used with levodopa and carbidopa to manage the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease -- including tremors and slowness of movement. In 2006, an estimated 12,000 patients received prescriptions for pergolide from retail pharmacies in the United States.
Withdrawal of Pergolide from Market
On March 30, 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that, in light of two new studies showing that patients with Parkinson's disease who were treated with pergolide had an increased chance of serious heart valve damage, pergolide drug products will be removed from the market. Companies that manufacture and sell pergolide will stop shipping pergolide for distribution and, in voluntary cooperation with FDA, will withdraw the products from the market. The effect of this voluntary withdrawal on supplies of pergolide currently in pharmacies will not be immediate. This delay will allow time for healthcare professionals and patients to discuss appropriate treatment options and to change treatments.
- Read the FDA's Public Health Advisory on the pergolide recall
- See the FDA Press Release announcing the recall.
Advice for Pergolide Patients with Parkinson's Disease
Patients with Parkinson's disease who are taking pergolide should:
- Contact their healthcare professional to discuss alternate treatment options.
- NOT stop taking Pergolide without consulting their healthcare professional, since stopping pergolide too quickly can be dangerous and several other effective treatments are available.
- There are alternative therapies available for Parkinson's disease, including three other dopamine agonists that have not been associated with heart valve disease. The removal of pergolide products is not expected to adversely affect patient care, because alternative therapies are available.
Pergolide (Permax) - Getting Legal Help
While all medications have certain anticipated side effects, a drug manufacturer has a duty to make its products as reasonably safe as possible, and to inform the medical community and the public of known risks associated with its drugs. If a manufacturer fails to do so, it can be held legally responsible if patients are injured as the result of inadequate warnings or the unreasonably dangerous nature of the drug, under a legal theory called "product liability."
If you or a loved one have experienced any dangerous symptoms or unusual medical conditions while using pergolide (Permax), you should first contact your doctor or other healthcare professional. You may also wish to meet with an experienced attorney to discuss your options and to protect your right to a legal remedy for any injuries caused by pergolide (Permax) use.
Contact a qualified product liability attorney to make sure your rights are protected.