So, I recently discovered Drop Dead Diva on Netflix. A brief nod to its hilarity is in order.
More importantly, one of the episodes mentioned impulse control issues with ropinirole, which is sometimes used for people with Parkinson’s. The drug name sounded familiar so I looked it up. It’s Requip, which I used to take steadily for my Restless Leg Syndrome.
Turns out, there’s been a causal link between ropinirole and impulse control issues for years now. As in, I found one article from back in 2006.
Of course, not everyone is affected. In a study of 3,000 patients, just under 14% had impulse control disorders.
That said, I think that maybe — just maybe — someone who has been diagnosed bipolar II shouldn’t be given something that could easily cause impulse control issues.
Bipolar II tends to come with less severe manic states. Still, impulse control is an issue. For me, I talk faster, I can’t really sit still and my thoughts race. Sometimes, the thoughts loop and become somewhat obsessive. Very frustrating.
During those cycles, I’m more likely to overeat, spend impulsively and other things with repercussions that last long after the mania has subsided. So the idea that this drug could have made these symptoms worse…
To be fair, I don’t think Requip actually affected me in this manner. But there was no way of knowing that when the doctors prescribed it to me — which was certainly after 2006 and definitely after the bipolar diagnosis.
I actually haven’t taken Requip for nearly a year. For whatever reason, my RLS hasn’t been all that bad. So I guess I’ll just avoid this medication in the future.
Still… I guess it’s a good reminder to keep current on news about your medications. Or to have more thorough talks with your doctor about these sorts of things.