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Please note: "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."

Chris Gupta

----Original Message-----
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 in Some

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.

Thanks Kallie,

Chris Gupta


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