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March 31, 2007: Parkinson’s Drug Permax Withdrawn From Market After Heart Valve Damage Confirmed in Recent Studies

Permax Withdrawn From Market – Permax, which is the trade name for pergolide, a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease, is voluntarily being taken off the market. Two new studies, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in January of this year, confirmed the results of earlier trials in which patients taking Permax were found to run an increased risk of serious heart valve damage.

According to the FDA, the studies showed a higher risk of regurgitation of the mitral, tricuspid and aortic heart valves. In these cases, valves do not close tightly enough to prevent back-flow of blood. Symptoms related to this situation are shortness of breath, fatigue and heart palpitations, the FDA said.

Permax is prescribed to Parkinson’s patients to manage the tremors and slowness of movement experienced as a result of the disease. These patients are instructed by the FDA not to stop taking Permax without consulting their healthcare professional. The FDA noted in a Public Health Advisory that stopping the drug “too quickly can be dangerous and several other effective treatments are available.” Permax is a dopamine agonist, and the FDA states that three other drugs not associated with heart valve damage are available in this class.

According to the two recent studies, the risk of serious heart valve damage in patients taking Permax was seven times higher than in patients receiving other Parkinson’s medications. A “black box warning” about valve damage had been added to Permax labeling in 2006; this is the FDA’s highest warning. Permax is sold by Valeant. It is also sold by Par and Teva as the generic drug pergolide. Both the generic and brand name drugs will be taken off the market.

Product Liability and Personal Injury Lawsuit Help

If you or a loved one has been harmed by Permax or pergolide, you may wish to speak with a personal injury lawyer to learn more about your legal rights. Located in New Brunswick, NJ the Law Firm of Eric Weinberg represents clients who have been harmed by pharmaceutical drugs. Please see “Our Firm and Our Successful Cases” to learn more about personal injury legal services. To request a free product liability lawsuit case evaluation from our firm, please call our toll free number at 1-877–934-6274.

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