Dopamine Agonists & Stimulants

Dopamine agonists are used for Parkinson’s Disease, restless legs syndrome and other indications. There are some suggestions that anyone with impulse control disorders (ICDs) or compulsive behaviors (punding) while on treatment are more likely to develop withdrawal syndromes. At least 15% of takers develop clear ICDs. The stimulants are a closely related group of drugs used for cognitive enhancing purposes and for attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD). The group of drugs includes delayed-release and immediate-release versions of methylphenidate and dexamphetamine. Claims that the stimulants came with a withdrawal syndrome were denied in the 1960s because any problems could be attributed to the unsavory personalities using them but the undoubted existence of a Dopamine Agonist Withdrawal Syndrome (DAWS) makes it clear that all these groups can cause problems. At present, Pramipexole and Mirapex are linked to these problems more commonly than other dopamine agonists.

Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Flu-like symptoms, yawning, insomnia, fatigue
  • Enduring symptoms primarily feature dysthymia, complaints of depression, anxiety, and stress intolerance, anxiety, panic attacks, irritability