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Brand Names: Sifrol
Generic Name: Pramipexole
Manufacturer: Boehringer and Ingelheim
Why is Pramipexole prescribed?
Pramipexole is used alone or with other medications to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD; a disorder of the nervous system that causes difficulties with movement, muscle control, and balance), including shaking of parts of the body, stiffness, slowed movements, and problems with balance. Pramipexole is also used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS; a condition that causes discomfort in the legs and a strong urge to move the legs, especially at night and when sitting or lying down). Pramipexole is in a class of medications called dopamine agonists. It works by acting in place of dopamine, a natural substance in the brain that is needed to control movement.
How should Pramipexole be used?
Pramipexole comes as a tablet to take by mouth. When pramiprexole is used to treat Parkinson's disease, it is usually taken three times a day. When pramiprexole is used to treat restless legs syndrome, it is usually taken once a day, 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. Pramipexole may be taken with or without food, but taking pramipexole with food may help to prevent nausea that may be caused by the medication. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take pramipexole exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will start you on a low dose of pramipexole and gradually increase your dose. Your doctor will probably not increase your dose more often than once every 4 to 7 days. It may take several weeks before you reach a dose that works for you.
If you are taking pramipexole to treat restless legs syndrome, you should know that as your treatment continues, your symptoms may worsen, may begin earlier in the evening or afternoon, or may occur in the early morning. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen or if they begin to occur at different times than in the past.
Pramipexole controls the symptoms of Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome but does not cure these conditions. Continue to take pramipexole even if you feel well. Do not stop taking pramipexole without talking to your doctor. If you are taking pramipexole to treat Parkinson's disease and you suddenly stop taking the medication, you may experience, fever, muscle stiffness, changes in consciousness, and other symptoms. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually over 7 days.
If you stop taking pramipexole for any reason, do not start to take the medication again without talking to your doctor. Your doctor will probably want to increase your dose again gradually.