Pramipexole Dihydrochloride (Page 4 of 8)

6.2 Post Marketing Experience

In addition to the adverse events reported during clinical trials, the following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets, primarily in Parkinson’s disease patients. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. Decisions to include these reactions in labeling are typically based on one or more of the following factors: (1) seriousness of the reaction, (2) frequency of reporting, or (3) strength of causal connection to pramipexole tablets. Similar types of reactions were grouped into a smaller number of standardized categories using the MedDRA terminology: cardiac failure, inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH), skin reactions (including erythema, rash, pruritus, urticaria), syncope, vomiting, and weight increase.


7.1 Dopamine Antagonists

Since pramipexole is a dopamine agonist, it is possible that dopamine antagonists, such as the neuroleptics (phenothiazines, butyrophenones, thioxanthenes) or metoclopramide, may diminish the effectiveness of pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets.


8.1 Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects
Pregnancy Category C
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Pramipexole dihydrochloride should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.When pramipexole was given to female rats throughout pregnancy, implantation was inhibited at a dose of 2.5 mg/kg/day (5 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) for Parkinson’s disease of 4.5 mg/day on a body surface area (mg/m2) basis). Administration of 1.5 mg/kg/day of pramipexole to pregnant rats during the period of organogenesis (gestation days 7 through 16) resulted in a high incidence of total resorption of embryos. The plasma AUC in rats at this dose was 4 times the AUC in humans at the MRHD. These findings are thought to be due to the prolactin-lowering effect of pramipexole, since prolactin is necessary for implantation and maintenance of early pregnancy in rats (but not rabbits or humans). Because of pregnancy disruption and early embryonic loss in these studies, the teratogenic potential of pramipexole could not be adequately evaluated. There was no evidence of adverse effects on embryo-fetal development following administration of up to 10 mg/kg/day to pregnant rabbits during organogenesis (plasma AUC was 70 times that in humans at the MRHD). Postnatal growth was inhibited in the offspring of rats treated with 0.5 mg/kg/day (approximately equivalent to the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis) or greater during the latter part of pregnancy and throughout lactation.

8.3 Nursing Mothers

Studies have shown that pramipexole treatment resulted in an inhibition of prolactin secretion in humans and rats.A single-dose, radio-labeled study showed that drug-related material was present in rat milk at concentrations three to six times higher than those in plasma at equivalent time points. It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from pramipexole dihydrochloride, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

8.4 Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness of pramipexole dihydrochloride in pediatric patients has not been established.

8.5 Geriatric Use

Pramipexole total oral clearance is approximately 30% lower in subjects older than 65 years compared with younger subjects, because of a decline in pramipexole renal clearance due to an age-related reduction in renal function. This resulted in an increase in elimination half-life from approximately 8.5 hours to 12 hours.In clinical studies with Parkinson’s disease patients, 38.7% of patients were older than 65 years. There were no apparent differences in efficacy or safety between older and younger patients, except that the relative risk of hallucination associated with the use of pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets was increased in the elderly.

8.6 Renal Impairment

The elimination of pramipexole is dependent on renal function. Pramipexole clearance is extremely low in dialysis patients, as a negligible amount of pramipexole is removed by dialysis. Caution should be exercised when administering pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets to patients with renal disease [see Dosage and Administration (2.2),Warnings and Precautions (5.6), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].


There is no clinical experience with significant overdosage. One patient took 11 mg/day of pramipexole for 2 days in a clinical trial for an investigational use. Blood pressure remained stable although pulse rate increased to between 100 and 120 beats/minute. No other adverse reactions were reported related to the increased dose.
There is no known antidote for overdosage of a dopamine agonist. If signs of central nervous system stimulation are present, a phenothiazine or other butyrophenone neuroleptic agent may be indicated; the efficacy of such drugs in reversing the effects of overdosage has not been assessed. Management of overdose may require general supportive measures along with gastric lavage, intravenous fluids, and electrocardiogram monitoring.


Pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets contain pramipexole, a nonergot dopamine agonist. The chemical name of pramipexole dihydrochloride is (S)-2-amino-4,5,6,7-tetrahydro-6-(propylamino)benzothiazole dihydrochloride monohydrate. Its molecular formula is C10 H17 N3 S·2HCl·H2 O, and its molecular weight is 302.26.The structural formula is:

Chemical Structure
(click image for full-size original)

Pramipexole dihydrochloride USP is a white or almost white, crystalline powder. Melting occurs in the range of 296°C to 301°C, with decomposition. Pramipexole dihydrochloride is more than 20% soluble in water, about 8% in methanol, about 0.5% in ethanol, and practically insoluble in dichloromethane.Pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets, for oral administration, contain 0.125 mg, 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 0.75 mg, 1 mg, or 1.5 mg of pramipexole dihydrochloride USP. Inactive ingredients consist of colloidal silicon dioxide, corn starch, magnesium stearate, mannitol, and povidone.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Pramipexole is a non-ergot dopamine agonist with high relative in vitro specificity and full intrinsic activity at the D2 subfamily of dopamine receptors, binding with higher affinity to D3 than to D2 or D4 receptor subtypes.
Parkinson’s DiseaseThe precise mechanism of action of pramipexole as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease is unknown, although it is believed to be related to its ability to stimulate dopamine receptors in the striatum. This conclusion is supported by electrophysiologic studies in animals that have demonstrated that pramipexole influences striatal neuronal firing rates via activation of dopamine receptors in the striatum and the substantia nigra, the site of neurons that send projections to the striatum. The relevance of D3 receptor binding in Parkinson’s disease is unknown.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

The effect of pramipexole on the QT interval of the ECG was investigated in a clinical study in 60 healthy male and female volunteers. All subjects initiated treatment with 0.375 mg extended release pramipexole tablets administered once daily, and were up-titrated every 3 days to 2.25 mg and 4.5 mg daily, a faster rate of titration than recommended in the label. No dose- or exposure-related effect on mean QT intervals was observed; however, the study did not have a valid assessment of assay sensitivity. The effect of pramipexole on QTc intervals at higher exposures achieved either due to drug interactions (e.g., with cimetidine), renal impairment, or at higher doses has not been systematically evaluated.
Although mean values remained within normal reference ranges throughout the study, supine systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and pulse rate for subjects treated with pramipexole generally increased during the rapid up-titration phase, by 10 mmHg, 7 mmHg, and 10 bpm higher than placebo, respectively. Higher SBP, DBP, and pulse rates compared to placebo were maintained until the pramipexole doses were tapered; values on the last day of tapering were generally similar to baseline values. Such effects have not been observed in clinical studies with Parkinson’s disease patients, who were titrated according to labeled recommendations.

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