Please note: "the doctors who wrote the report
say their evidence is enough
to recommend that anyone with heart problems not take Permax, which
been used since 1989."
From: Dawn Rider [mailto:israelswarrior@...
Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2002 11:41 PMTo: bobd1@....
Subject: Legal Action Against Drug Permax & Amarin Pharmaceuticals
From Class Action America:
Amount at Issue: No amount specified Stage: Filing
Parkinson's Disease Patients v. Amarin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (makers
of Permax) Parkinson's Disease Drug Permax Tied to Heart Disorders
The Kahn Gauthier Law Group is investigating possible legal actions
against Amarin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the manufacturer of the prescription
drug Permax (pergolide mesylate), to recover for heart damage suffered
by some patients taking the drug. Permax is prescribed for patients
suffering from Parkinson's disease, a neurological disorder that
causes shaking, freezing, and other movement disorders. Concern
over Permax has risen since the publication of an article in the
December, 2002, issue of the medical journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings
that revealed three cases of heart valve
disease in patients taking Permax. While the evidence in the report
is based only on three cases treated at the Mayo Clinic, the doctors
who wrote the report say their evidence is enough to recommend that
anyone with heart problems not take Permax, which has been used
since 1989. In the cases that were treated at the clinic, three
older women--aged 61, 72, and 74--had been taking various doses
of Permax daily for between three and seven years to treat their
Parkinson's disease. At the clinic they were diagnosed with serious
heart valve disease; two had to have valve replacement surgery.
None of the three had a prior history of heart disease.
Valvular heart disease is a condition that impairs heart function.
The heart functions as a one-way pump to move blood through the
lungs and the body. Within the heart, valves work to prevent the
backward flow of blood in the heart. In patients with valvular heart
disease, one or more of these valves fails to seal properly and
allows significant amounts of blood to flow backwards, or regurgitate.
Valvular regurgitation increases the
workload on the heart and, in sufficiently severe cases, can require
heart valve replacement surgery. Left unchecked and untreated, some
types of valvular heart disease can progress to the point where
the patient is at risk of death from heart failure.
Permax shares characteristics with a number of other drugs that
have been associated with valvular heart disease. These drugs, including
the now-banned fen-phen combination, are all associated with a heightened
stimulation of serotonin receptors, and one of the doctors who wrote
the new report speculates that this mechanism could somehow cause
the valve damage. Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological
disorder resulting from the degeneration of neurons in a region
of the brain that controls
movement. The degeneration creates a shortage of the brain-signaling
chemical known as dopamine, causing the movement impairments that
characterize the disease. In the United States, at least 500,000
people are believed to suffer from Parkinson's disease, and about
50,000 new cases are reported annually, according to the National
Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.