A French man is suing a drug firm for his addiction to sex and gambling, claiming a medication he was taking to control his Parkinson's disease triggered compulsive behavior. The claim isn't so far fetched. Experts say that dopamine agonists like that found in the drug Requip, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, can trigger compulsions in some patients, reports ABC News. The 51-year-old married dad of two said he blew through his life's saving to gamble, and engaged in a series of risky gay sexual encounters.
"There are plenty of reports of people developing side effects from Parkinson's drugs, such as hypersexuality, gambling and excessive shopping," said a neurology expert. "It's very dramatic when it happens." Some 17% of people treated with dopamine argonists displayed some type of impulse control disorder, according to a study last year, and warnings on Requip packaging now state that pathological gambling and hypersexuality can be a drug side effect. A Minneapolis man won an $8 million settlement two years ago against another drug firm over a similar issue with compulsive gambling.