What are dopamine agonist suppose to do?

Hi there,

I am sure I'm expecting too much to soon. I've started Pramipexole (week in) and nothing has improved but to be honest I'm not sure what to expect from a dopamine agonist. Do things get better or do they just maintain the status quo ?

Agonist is right though the cluster headaches are agony and I've had to take to my bed several times since starting, only to sleep and have vivid dreams so don't even get to rest. Still emotional and depressed. 

So can anyone share any positive experience with DA please because I am getting a little despondent here. 




Google "Dopamine Agonist".  There's lots of information available.

What are your PD symptoms?  What does your neurologist say?

In my experience, if a drug is going to work, it will work within a few days.




Hi C,

Not had experience of Pramipexole, but used to take Ropinirole, which is another DA. It is supposed to act in place of the dopamine lost in the brain. Also used for Restless Leg Syndrome.

It didn't suit me and made my head feel a bit spaced out....also made my ankles swell up and completely changed my eyesight. The side effects were worse than the PD symptoms, so I gradually came off it altogether.

Everyone reacts differently to the meds. they give us, which is why it's all so frustrating and trial and error. I'm sorry you get rotten headaches and feel depressed. I would give it a bit longer to see if it works and makes you feel any better......say 2 months. Sorry that I'm unable to give you a positive experience with a DA. I'm sure there will be others who have found it helpful. All the best.




I've bee on Ropinirole XL for 4 years cope very well with it, current dose 8mg. I know this is  a small dose but works for me. I was on 18mg but couldn't cope with the headaches, sleep disturbance and swollen ankles. Neuro advised to gradually reduce, I take it at lunch time and that seems to suit. 

I hope that my experience is of some help to you. 



I have been on Pramipexole since 2001. I started on a very low dose and increased this over a few months ( note: very, very slowly) until the dose was sufficient to relieve the symptoms it is supposed to treat. By then I had reached the recommended max dose of 4,5 mg a day. I had/have very little problems with bothersome side effects, mainly some foot/ankle oedema for which I wear compression stockings. My main problem was/ is walking, putting one foot in front of the other, not much tremor. What it also did,is improving my mood, I felt better in myself and more confident when out of the house. As the drug was relatively new, more information appeared on medical websites and it mentioned the potential of this drug for helping people with depression. I would not be surprised if that was the case.

Dopamine Agonists mimick the working of real dopamine and in the past (2001) was a favorite first drug for Parky's , but that is no longer the case, it depends on your neurologist what he/she prefers. DAs have a wider range of side effects and therefore are less well tolerated than levodopa  drugs, especially the ICD side effect can be devastating for some.

DAs are always very slowly titrated (dose increased),and therefore will take a while before effective dose level is reached.

Hi C

I take Pramipexole been taking it for  a year now 1.05 mg, Quite honestly it hasn't done much for me my neurologist says his hands are tied because I had bad reactions to Levodopa.  I have just started Mirtazapine 30 mg for anxiety but that seems to be making me feel awful. I was diagnosed 2008 but still seem to be on the trial and error  road.  Keep thinking I shall stop them all and see if I feel any worse, but I do realise that is not a  good idea!!  My Premipexole was changed recently from Mirerpexin to Oprymea I have been told this one is lots cheaper than the original, feel a bit cheated that it was changed without my approval. 

Well  do hope Premipexole works better for you.

Best regards Sugarplum