Sounds like 'pram-ih-PEX-ole'

Pramipexole is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects. Pramipexole is commonly called Ramipex.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Dopaminergic medicine
  • It belongs to a group of medicines used to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease
  • It is also used to treat restless legs syndrome
  • Ramipex®

What is pramipexole?

  • Pramipexole is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, or Parkinson-like symptoms such as tremor, shakiness, stiffness, and difficulty moving.
  • It works by helping to restore the balance of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that helps to control movement.  
  • Pramipexole is also used to treat restless legs syndrome. It helps to reduce the urge to move your legs and the feelings you get with restless legs syndrome.


  • In Aotearoa New Zealand, pramipexole is available as 250 microgram tablets.
  • The dose of pramipexole is different for different people.
  • You will be started on a low dose at first, and your doctor will increase your dose slowly, to control your symptoms. This reduces your chances of side effects and helps your body to get used to the medicine.
  • Always take your pramipexole exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much pramipexole to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

How to take pramipexole

  • For Parkinson's disease, pramipexole is usually taken 3 times a day, and for restless legs syndrome, pramipexole is taken once a day, about 2–3 hours before bed.
  • You can take pramipexole with or without food. Try taking pramipexole with food if it causes nausea (feeling sick).
  • Try to take your pramipexole at the same times of day each day.
  • Missed dose: If you do miss a dose and it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses at the same time or very close together.
  • Keep taking pramipexole regularly. Stopping treatment suddenly can cause serious problems.
  • Interactions: Pramipexole can interact with some medications, herbal supplements and rongoā Māori, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting pramipexole and before starting any new products.

What are the side effects of pramipexole?

Like all medicines, pramipexole can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Feeling or being sick (nausea)
  • This is common when you first start taking pramipexole
  • Take your doses after food.
  • Falling asleep suddenly during daily activities (such as talking on the phone, or driving)
  • This sleep effect can occur without any feelings of drowsiness beforehand, and can happen anytime during treatment with this medication
  • Tell your doctor
  • Do not drive or use tools until you know how this medicine affects you and until these have stopped happening
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Feeling dizzy or faint when you stand up (due to a sudden drop in blood pressure)
  • Be careful when getting up from either lying down or sitting, to avoid falls
  • Tell your doctor.
  • Impulsive types of behaviour or intense urges that are difficult to control such as binge eating, gambling and increased sexual urges
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline 0800 611 116
  • Uncontrollable jerky movements, where you switch suddenly from being able to move to being immobile
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline 0800 611 116
Did you know that you can report a side effect to a medicine to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)? Report a side effect to a product

Learn more

The following links provide further information on pramipexole. Be aware that websites from other countries may contain information that differs from Aotearoa New Zealand recommendations.

Pramiprexole. Patient Information NZ Formulary
Medication used in the treatment of Parkinson's Parkinson's New Zealand
Parkinson's and complementary therapies Parkinson's New Zealand
Impulse behaviour, Parkinson's UK


Pramipexole NZ Formulary
Ramipex Medsafe, NZ
The management of Parkinson’s disease – which treatments to start and when? BPAC, NZ, 2014
The night time hustle – managing restless legs syndrome in adults BPAC, NZ, 2012

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Maya Patel, MPharm PGDipClinPharm, Auckland Last reviewed: 23 Nov 2021