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Mirapex is a dopamine agonist prescribed to treat Parkinson’s Disease and Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).

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Mirapex (generic name: pramipexole) is prescribed to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. It can also be used to treat Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).  Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive condition that results from degeneration of neurons in the basal ganglia in the brain. These neurons use the neurotransmitter dopamine to carry out their function in controlling movement and coordination. As they deteriorate, dopamine levels decrease, leading to the symptoms of movement disorders commonly associated with Parkinson’s Disease. This condition has no cure, and treatments are designed to relieve the symptoms as much as possible. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder in which symptoms are experienced when resting or trying to sleep. It is also a movement disorder because people with RLS feel a strong need to move their legs as the only way to relieve their symptoms.  Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease and Restless Legs Syndrome can be based on drugs in the class dopamine agonists, which affect neurons that have dopamine receptors. Unlike other medications, such as levodopa, which acts as a precursor to dopamine itself, the effect of dopamine agonists is to activate the receptors rather than to increase dopamine levels. They are also known as dopamine mimics because they mimic the effect of dopamine without converting levodopa into dopamine. In general, dopamine agonists are less effective than levodopa combined with carbidopa in treating symptoms like bradykinesia and muscle rigidity. Still, they are more effective in treating the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease that are affecting movement control. Dopamine agonists such as Mirapx are effective in reducing moderate to severe symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome when taken at night. Levodopa plus carbidopa may be effective when used intermittently but is usually not prescribed for daily use because long-term use can eventually worsen symptoms.


Information on this website does not replace talking with your healthcare professionals. Doctors prescribe this medication because they have judged that the benefits outweigh the risk of side effects. The treating doctor will determine the dosage, which may start at a low level and gradually increase based on the patient’s medical condition and response to treatment. Mirapex can be taken or without food, but taking it with food may lessen nausea.  Don’t stop using Mirapex without consulting a doctor. Stopping the use of this drug may cause withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, depression, confusion, fever, and stiffness. This is more likely after the use of pramipexole in high doses or for a long time. Tell a doctor or pharmacist if symptoms of withdrawal occur.

Some mild side effects are muscle spasms or muscle weakness; sleepiness, dizziness, confusion, or memory problems; weakness; dry mouth, nausea, constipation, or increased urination; or insomnia and unusual dreams. If these persist or worsen, consult with a doctor or pharmacist.

To reduce the feeling of dizziness or lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

There are rare but more serious side effects. If you feel that you are fainting, experience mood changes such as confusion, agitation, or hallucinations, have strong and unusual desires (gambling or sexual urges), sudden difficulty moving or walking, feel muscle cramps or spasms, swelling of the ankles or feet, feel chest pain, fever, unusual heartbeat, changes in the frequency of urination or vision changes, go at once to an emergency healthcare facility. Take the package of medication with.

Please bear in mind that not all possible side effects can be listed. If you experience any of these or other unexpected side effects, seek medical attention from your prescribing physician.

There are no specific blood tests, imaging, or other routine tests to detect Parkinson’s Disease. It typically starts with subtle symptoms such as tremors, which usually start in one hand but progress to affect the extremities, slowness of movement (bradykinesia), muscle rigidity and stiffness in the limbs, or postural instability and balance problems.

A clinical diagnosis is primarily based on medical history, assessment of symptoms, and a neurological examination. A more complex specialized imaging test that looks at the dopamine in the brain (DaTscan) may be necessary if a final diagnosis can’t be reached.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) symptoms are most often felt in the late afternoon or evening hours and are most potent at night when trying to sleep. RLS makes falling asleep and returning to sleep after being woken difficult. The discomfort is reduced by moving legs or walking, but typically, the sensations recur soon after movement stops. 

  • Is pramipexole a sedative?
    Mirapex (pramipexole) is a dopamine agonist that mimics the neurotransmitter dopamine's effects. It is used to treat Parkinson's Disease and Restless Legs Syndrome. It may cause spontaneous sedation.
  • Is pramipexole a muscle relaxer?
    Pramipexole is not a muscle relaxant. Its role is to help improve movement control for people with Parkinson's Disease or restless legs syndrome (RLS) whose symptoms are primarily poor muscle control. Mirapex is the only version of pramipexole that is approved to treat both Parkinson's and RLS.
  • Can pramipexole be used for sleep?
    Mirapex treats restless legs syndrome (RLS), in which patients feel a strong urge to move their legs. Symptoms usually occur at night. This medication decreases the symptoms and can thereby improve sleep.
  • What happens if I take too much pramipexole?
    Effects of an overdose of pramipexole can include sleepiness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, headache, insomnia, hallucinations, and behavioral changes. If any of these occur, go straight to an emergency care center.
  • Can I drink alcohol while taking pramipexole?
    Alcohol can increase the side effects of pramipexole and cause symptoms of dizziness, sleepiness, and difficulty focusing. Avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with Mirapex.

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