51-year-old French man claims Requip made him a sex addict
In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, a French man is suing drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline. The 51-year-old man claims that Requip, a Parkinson’s drug, changed his personality. Effects cited in the lawsuit include a change in sexual orientation, an addiction to gambling and a sex addition.
Man claims he became a sex addict
The lawsuit filed in French court today asks GlaxoSmithKline for the equivalent of $610,000 (U.S.) in damages. The plaintiff claims that after he started taking the drug Requip to treat his Parkinson’s disease, his entire personality changed significantly. The father of two claims that he became a homosexual sex addict, started engaging in risky sexual behaviors, became a compulsive gambler and a cross-dresser. The claim of the plaintiff is also that these actions led to him emptying the family bank accounts and putting himself in a position where he was raped. The man also lost his job because of the high-risk actions he took. The lawsuit claims that the man was not informed of the risks by his neurologist or GlaxoSmithKline.
Dangerous side effects of Requip
Requip is a drug used to treat Parkinson’s Disease. Ropinirole, the active chemical in Requip, takes the place of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the “reward” drug within the brain and controls motivation, cognition, sexual gratification, attention, memory and voluntary movement. Parkinson’s makes voluntary movement difficult, and Requip is supposed to improve that. Because the same chemical affects so many other things in the brain, though, the side effects of Requip are extensive. In 2006, Requip was given an in-package warning for known side effects such as gambling addiction and compulsive sexual behavior.
Balancing risks and benefits of Requip
Requip is a difficult drug for regulatory agencies. It has proven beneficial for some Parkinson’s patients. At the same time, the very real and sometimes difficult side effects of the drug can make it dangerous, as this French man found out the hard way.