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All about: Permax

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Generic Name: pergolide (PER go lide)
Brand Names: Permax

What is Permax (pergolide)?

Pergolide was withdrawn from the U.S. market on March 29, 2007.

Pergolide is used to treat Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease is associated with low levels of a chemical called dopamine (DOE pa meen) in the brain. Pergolide has some of the same effects as dopamine in the body.

Pergolide is used to treat the stiffness, tremors, spasms, and poor muscle control of Parkinson's disease. Pergolide is often used in conjunction with other medicines in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

Pergolide may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Permax (pergolide)?

Pergolide was withdrawn from the U.S. market on March 29, 2007.

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Pergolide may cause drowsiness or low blood pressure (leading to dizziness and other symptoms), especially when rising from a sitting or lying position. Rise slowly and use caution when performing hazardous activities until you know how this medication affects you. Do not stop taking pergolide without first talking to your doctor. Stopping pergolide suddenly may cause potentially dangerous side effects such as elevated body temperature, muscle rigidity, confusion or altered consciousness, and other problems.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Permax (pergolide)?

Do not take pergolide without first talking to your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to another similar medication such as ergotamine (Ergomar, Ercaf, Cafergot) or dihydroergotamine (D.H.E, Migranal).

Before taking pergolide, tell your doctor if you have

  • lung or breathing problems such as inflammation of the lining of the lungs (pleuritis), fluid in the lungs (pleural effusion), or scar tissue in the lungs (pleural fibrosis);

  • heart problems such as inflammation of the lining of the heart (pericarditis), fluid around the heart (pericardial effusion), heart valve problems, or irregular heartbeats;

  • retroperitoneal fibrosis (a chronic inflammatory disease); or

  • kidney or liver disease.

You may not be able to take pergolide, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.

Pergolide is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take pergolide without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether pergolide passes into breast milk. Do not take pergolide without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Permax (pergolide)?

Take pergolide exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

It is important to take pergolide regularly to get the most benefit.

Do not stop taking pergolide without first talking to your doctor. Stopping pergolide suddenly may cause potentially dangerous side effects such as elevated body temperature, muscle rigidity, confusion or altered consciousness, and other problems.

Your doctor may want you to have blood tests or other medical evaluations during treatment with pergolide to monitor progress and side effects.

Store pergolide at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and only take the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.

Symptoms of a pergolide overdose may include nausea, vomiting, weakness, dizziness, fainting, agitation, confusion, hallucinations, muscle twitching, uncontrollable movements, a tingling sensation, and irregular heartbeats.

What should I avoid while taking Permax (pergolide)?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Pergolide may cause drowsiness or low blood pressure (leading to dizziness and other symptoms), especially when rising from a sitting or lying position. Rise slowly and use caution when performing hazardous activities until you know how this medication affects you.

Pergolide may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness or dizziness, including antidepressants, alcohol, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain relievers, other anxiety medicines, muscle relaxants, and antihistamines. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any medicine without first talking to your doctor.

Permax (pergolide) side effects

Stop taking pergolide and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • irregular heartbeats;

  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real), confusion, or altered consciousness; or

  • dizziness (especially when rising from a sitting or lying position).

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take pergolide and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • mild nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, or decreased appetite;

  • diarrhea or constipation;

  • dry mouth;

  • drowsiness;

  • insomnia; or

  • agitation or anxiety.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Permax (pergolide)?

Before taking pergolide, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • a phenothiazine such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin), mesoridazine (Serentil), perphenazine (Trilafon), thioridazine (Mellaril), promazine (Sparine), trifluoperazine (Stelazine), and others;
  • haloperidol (Haldol);

  • thiothixene (Navane); or

  • metoclopramide (Reglan).

You may not be able to take pergolide, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Pergolide may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness or dizziness, including antidepressants, alcohol, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain relievers, other anxiety medicines, muscle relaxants, and antihistamines. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any medicine without first talking to your doctor.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with pergolide. Do not take any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products, without first talking to your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has more information about pergolide written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Pergolide was withdrawn from the U.S. market on March 29, 2007.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.05. Revision Date: 04/25/2007 10:48:05 AM.

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