Pramipexole is a dopamine agonist belonging to the same class of drugs as Cabergoline. The primary purpose of this drug is in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Pramipexole is most commonly found under the brand names Sifrol, Mirapexin and Mirapex, although generics are also available. Mirapex is the most well known brand by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. Along with treating Parkinson’s, Pramipexole is also prescribed for the treatment of restless legs syndrome. The drug has also shown promising signs in the treatment of bipolar depression, although it has never officially held this label.
Pramipexole is a dopamine agonist that directly correlates with the prolactin hormone. As dopamine levels in the body go up, prolactin levels go down. It does this by having a direct effect on the dopamine D3 receptor. Although it also acts on the D2 receptor its affinity for the D3 receptor is seven times greater than any existing dopamine agonist
The effect of Pramipexole on the D3 receptor has a strong impact on the neurological system, which is why it’s used to treat Parkinson’s disease and in some cases Alzheimer’s disease. Through acting on the D3 receptor, Pramipexole also affects a man’s sexual interest and activity. Prolactin is in part directly responsible for a man’s refractory period, which refers to the time it takes to recover from sexual activity so that performance can occur again. By lowering prolactin through an increase in dopamine, Pramipexole can directly reduce the refractory period resulting in the ability to perform sexually more frequently.
The positive effects of Pramipexole medically revolve primarily on relieving the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and improving the mood of the patient. However, the drug is also used by some performance enhancing athletes, primarily to combat a specific kind of gynecomastia and improve sexual function that is sometimes diminished through the use of specific anabolic steroids.
When prolactin levels increase significantly, along with elevated levels of estrogen, this can induce gynecomastia (male breast enlargement). Even if estrogen is controlled, in ‘Gyno’ sensitive men heavily elevated levels of prolactin can still induce gynecomastia. The elevated levels of prolactin due to steroid use are most commonly associated with the Nandrolone (Deca Durabolin) and Trenbolone hormones. Not all men will have an issue with increases in prolactin due to the use of these steroids; it is somewhat dose dependent and highly dependent on genetic predispositions. However, if control is needed Pramipexole is a suitable option for control.
The elevated levels of prolactin can also negatively affect a man’s sexual performance, most commonly his ability to obtain or maintain an erection. Nandrolone is the most well known steroid for causing this issue and the hormone responsible for the old phrase “Deca Dick.” For those that suffer from this issue they will often forgo Nandrolone due to the potential erection issues, which is understandable. However, in many cases, a low dose of Pramipexole can offset any such issue. In fact, with the right combination of steroidal hormones along with Pramipexole, peak sexual performance that cannot be found with out such a mix is often reached.
The final positive effect of Pramipexole is that it has been shown to increase natural Growth Hormone (GH) production. The increase is not what we can call extremely significant but enough to warrant benefit with an approximate two hour increase in GH serum levels after the medication is taken.
There are several possible side effects of Pramipexole, perhaps more so than most dopamine agonist. The side effects of Pramipexole are largely genetic dependent and while they do not negatively affect most users in a significant way they can be quite bothersome for some. The possible side effects of Pramipexole include:
The most common cause of the above negative effects is too much of the medication. Pramipexole is a very powerful drug and it’s very easy to suffer from side effects when too much is taken. Dosing of this dopamine agonist should always be kept to the minimum needed.
Pramipexole is found in tablet form and is taken orally. The drug’s half-life is approximately 8-12 hours in duration. It is most commonly found in 0.125mg, 0.25mg, 0.5mg, 0.75mg, 1mg and 1.5mg strengths. For the treatment of Parkinson’s you will find dosing is somewhat heavy compared to other issues of treatment. Doses for Parkinson’s treatment normally start low in order to allow the body to accustom starting at 0.125mg 2-3 times per day and increases gradually over several weeks reaching anywhere from 0.75-1.5mg 2-3 times per day depending on need. For those looking for prolactin control in order to combat gynecomastia or improve sexual function due to steroid use, such individuals will use far less of the drug. Generally 0.25-0.5mg two times per week is enough to combat any issues. Some may need a little more but it’s often recommended that dosing start low so that the body may adjust in order to avoid side effects.