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Pramipexole and Edema

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Many medications cause edema. Pramipexole has a common side effect of causing edema and swelling. Learn more about this connection below.

Edema is a common condition that is typically a side-effect of another medical condition. On the mildest level, edema can be caused by a lack of exercise or too much salt in your diet. On the more serious end of the spectrum, edema can be caused by severe medical conditions, such as cancer and kidney disease. Several medications are known to cause edema, including pramipexole.

Learn more about the connection between pramipexole and edema and how you can prevent this medication from causing edema below.

What is Pramipexole?

Pramipexole is a medication used to treat Parkinson's disease. The medication is designed to reduce some of the common symptoms of Parkinson's disease, including slowed movements, balance issues, and unwanted shaking.

For the same reason, Pramipexole may also be prescribed to individuals with restless leg syndrome. Pramipexole is a dopamine agent, which takes the place of dopamine in the brain and controls movement differently. 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.

Pramipexole Side Effects

Pramipexole is known to cause several side effects, which commonly can include:

  • Edema
  • Sleep disorders
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Abnormal movement
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Memory problems
  • Joint pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Decreased libido
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Hallucinations
  • Vision problems
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle weakness
  • Reckless behavior

How Does Pramipexole Cause Edema?

A study published in the archives of Neurology in 2000 found a link between pramipexole and edema. The exact cause of the edema is unknown, but it is possible that the low blood pressure associated with the condition may cause the renal system to function differently.

In the study of 300 people on Pramipexole, 17 of them had mild to severe edema. The study authors found that the best way to prevent the edema was to cut back on the dosage of the medication or stop taking it altogether. However, if Pramipexole is the only medication you can take to treat RLS or Parkinson's disease, alternative therapies may be necessary to prevent edema and reduce the swelling in your feet, hands, neck, and elsewhere throughout the body.





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