My dads just gambled his and my moms life away!

Hi all, only recently it's come to light that my dad who has Parkinson's (diagnosed 3 years ago) has gambled a huge amount of his and my moms savings! it so difficult at the moment as I don't recognise my dad and can't fathom what he has done to destroy his life and break up the family! I'm living with my parents and this is putting a lot of strain on me emotionally! yes he has reduced the medication and yes the specialist is going to supports family but what about the loss of money!!!! shouldn't the drug company be responsible for this as the specialist had advised me that my dad had no control of what he was doing!!! but he kept this a secret for a year or so and I knew nothing about it! I struggle with what can I do to help! it's heartbreaking to see this...! 

Hi gbhsi1,

i too was diagnosed 3 years ago.  After reading lots of horror stories (and there are many, your dad is not alone), I have avoided any DA's and take sinemet plus, don't get me wrong, I believe that any medication effecting the brain is,going to change you to a certain extent, but we need to move!

There is loads of information on here and if you search OCD in the search box above you will get all the results.  As for the loss of money, i think your dad is just one of many in the same situation, and it angers and saddens me tremendously.

just remember, it's not your dad doing these things, it's the medication, I know it can't be easy, but keep on at the medical profession for help.  Also be aware, if your dad stops these meds quickly, he may experience DAWS (dopamine agonist withdrawal symptoms), so it's important to seek medical guidance.

I really feel for you and I'm sorry I probably haven't been much help, take care xx


Hi gbhsi1, and welcome to the forum. 
I'm really sorry to hear about the situation with your dad. Ali p is right - there is information and support available. 
A good place to start is our information on Parkinson's drugs and impulsive and compulsive behaviour.
It may help you to chat this through with somebody in confidence - our helpline number is 0808 800 0303. Our helpline advisers and nurses deal with many enquiries about this and other side effects and adverse responses to drugs.
All the very best.

It gets worse and worse every time! my mom is the one that's suffering and brother who is not making anything better is making it worse by saying that she is to blame because she wasn't careful with everything! my brother is cruel and harsh but he is the only one that can eventually help them financially! this is going to break my family further and this is what causes people to hate life and end up being angry with it all! can my parents sue the drug company?? if it's not my dads fault then who's is it? I can't believe how this can happen but it happened and it feels like there is no support for this when it happens! the Parkinson's specialist nurse has not paid a visit to see how things are going...nothing!!!!!'s just left to fester and this has broken an already delicate family!! I'm not an expert but I have to try and helps mom when I am also dealing with my long going depression! 

I am so sorry that you have entered the nightmare world familiar to so many of us with ruined lives.

There is much on this forum to help you, look at the impulse control disorder thread and google Dopamine agonists and OCDs.

The legal you can't sue. Look at the question and answer session on this website.

No legal firm will take on the drug firms on in this country although there have been many successful cases in other countries.

 The might of their superior funding and amorality enables them to escape any responsibility.

On a practical level, your Dad must come off the drugs.

His neurologist must be forced to face the havoc the drugs have caused and supervise withdrawal.This is not easy but essential.

Your parents GP needs to be fully involved and can arrange counselling.

Citizens Advice can help untangle debt problems.

The Parkinsons helpline can offer support and advice.

I share your anger.

The facts about these drug side effects were known for years but kept from us.

Publicity and acknowledgement was too little too late including from PDUK.

No support for legal action was offered before the 3 year rule ruled it out.

Many of us limp on , our money gone, our relationships shattered, but we live some sort of life managing to find a little pleasure again. I wish you  and your family all the luck in the are going to need it.

Read as much as you can and find out as much as possible about the effects and the possible ways forward and then approach the professionals.

Keep posting and let us know how you get on.

We are thinking of you and always here.





Thanks for your reply! as soon as I heard my dad gambled everything away I was shocked but knew it was out of character and thought straight away a link between Parkinson's and drugs for Parkinson's and only after researching discovered this. My only way of helping was to call the specialist and he arranged an immediate appointment! and also an appointment with the neuro psychiatrist which he is going to see tomorrow - what else can I do??? feel helpless when I see my mom cry - sad about my dad and then some days I get angry about it all and feel guilty! family is in shatters! my parents lives are such that they are that what life is all about? I don't think so and it's not fair how the drug company gets away with it! their millions in profit could give back what's been taken!!!! 

I feel for you and only time and expert help will get you all through this. Is your Dad off the tablets altogether or beginning the process?

GlaxoSmithKline made 7.6 billion pounds profit last year but can't waste money in compensating those of us whose lives they have ruined in the process as they are currently facing huge fines for massive bribery and corruption in getting doctors to prescribe their drugs in China.

You will all come through this, not unscarred but still capable of happiness.

You are a blessing for your lucky parents, as my daughter was to us.



my dad is in the process - he saw a neuro psychiatrist who is going to augment with his much lower dose of movadipar (excuse the spelling...if it's not correct). Not sure what he is going to prescribe but I'll check when he receives this. 7.6 billion is a lot of profit and yes they could do something for the people who have lost their life savings and it's not like my dad or mom can start working to make something back! it impossible now!  I wish I was a blessing as I feel helpless as I can't make their lives better financially!  I'm also in the middle of fueds between my brother and parents and I don't really want to be in the middle as I've always been...anyway  this unfortunate  thing that's happened has just cemented the breakdown of a family!  how are you and your family coping? 

You care about your parents and are supporting them with your love.

You cannot undo the financial mess and that really is the least of their worries at the moment.

Trying to get your Dad back to a more normal mental state and helping your Mum to cope with her torment at being so betrayed is enough for one son to take on. Let your brother make his own decisions and don't get involved.

That you are doing this proves you love them and are a blessing.

Many  adult children would not set their lives aside to care for their parents in such difficult circumstances.

Did your Dad take Requip or Ropinirole or another drug in theDopamine Agonist family?

They are the ones that create the most frequent problems  of this kind.

If so, complete withdrawal and replacement with Sinemet or Madopar, carefully managed over a period of time, will usually allow sanity to return.

It is 4 years since our world collapsed and with help from a neuropsychologist, Parkinson's nurse, a new neurologist, 2 great kids, many friends....we are able to live a life of sorts.

The trust will never completely return, nor the close relationship we had, finances will never be rebuilt, but we limp on with periods of calm and occasional flare-ups of anger , suspicion and recriminations.

In the early days I was suicidal and now I rarely think of self harm

There are many who have survived this horror. With your continued support your parents will join the survivors.

Stay strong.

We are always here to help you.





Well my dad has been taking madopar (knew I got the spelling wrong) ever since he was diagnosed and the neurologist says my dad is a rare case on these newer drugs! I'm hoping the new drug that the neuro psychiatrist prescribes will bring my dad back to a better place soon! he has reduced half his madopar. My brother doesn't understand but it's hard because I'm currently living my parents as a result of a relationship breakup some time ago! so I'm caught in the middle and it's hard to avoid! you never think something will happen like this to your family until it actually happens! my parents have very little friends so you are lucky in that respect to push you through. 

I have heard of Simenet and maybe this is what the psychiatrist will add to help - let's see. Thanks for responding. 

My mom is extremely distraught and I struggle to help her as I'm not sure what to do. 

sinemet is one of the pd meds and most probably the best. good luck with your dad.

what is this Simenet I keep hearing about? the neuro psychiatrist has put my dad on something else but not this...



My husband also gambled after being on Requip for a period of time.


I think ourselves lucky as it was money out of our bill payment account that he gambled away and if it was not for our friends noticing that he was playing gambling machines in the pub or in our town centre which is out of character it could have been much worse.


He never played gambling machines prior to taking the medication and once he was weaned of the medication he stopped as if a switch had been flicked.


What you all need to do is stop trying to think why / who etc as it is a side effect from the medication and think of how you can support each other through this.

It certainly helped us come through it and I kept thinking how lucky I was / are that I still have my husband who I love and adore.


I hope you all get through this horrible time.


Take care and good luck.