Requip (ropinirole) is prescribed to treat restless leg syndrome (RLS) and the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. It works by mimicking the effects of dopamine, a neurotransmitter which is natural occurring in the body. Requip use has been linked to impulse control disorders, including compulsive gambling, with devastating consequences for victims and their loved ones.

Requip Uses

Requip is a non-ergoline dopamine agonist. It is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and to treat restless leg syndrome.

Dopamine agonists mimic the effects of dopamine by activating dopamine receptors. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which is produced in the brain and used by nerve cells to help control muscle movement.

People with Parkinson’s do not produce enough dopamine to control their movements and develop symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, muscle spasms and poor muscle control. By mimicking dopamine, Requip can improve these symptoms.

How Requip works in RLS is not fully understood.

Impulse Control Disorders

Requip use has been linked to impulse control disorders including:

  • Compulsive gambling
  • Binge eating
  • Compulsive buying
  • Compulsive sexual behavior

In addition to helping control movement, dopamine activates the reward centers in the brain. It is believed that dopamine agonists cause impulse control disorders by creating false reward signals and freeing people from their natural inhibitions and controls.

Impulse control disorders in people taking Requip have had devastating consequences. Victims have reported losing millions of dollars to gambling addictions and even stealing to support their habits. Those who develop compulsive eating disorders can experience massive weight gain and serious health problems. It is not unusual for a Requip user who develops impulse control disorder to develop more than one type, compounded the damage.

Impulse control disorders occur in Requip users who had no prior history of these types of behaviors. When victims stop taking the drug the impulse control disorders go away.

Other Side Effects

Requip users have reported falling asleep suddenly while in the middle of an activity, such as driving, and without any warning, such as sleepiness or drowsiness.

Other Requip side effects can include:

  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty moving or walking
  • Sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Retinal degeneration
  • Melanoma

If you have developed an impulse control disorder while taking Requip, or lost a loved one to Requip-related suicide, please find a local Requip injury attorney. You may be entitled to compensation.