"Parkinson's Meds Made Me a Gay, Gambling Sex Addict"
A Parkinson's sufferer in France wins $255,000 after claiming his life was ruined by the drug Requip.
Didier Jambart, a 52-year-old married father in France, says that his Parkinson's treatment meds turned him into a “gay sex addict and gambling addict”—and a court has backed his claims. After he began taking Requip in 2003, he began to compulsively gamble and search for gay sex on the Internet; he claims to have lost the equivalent of $106,000 gambling on horses online—even selling his kids' toys to get more cash. He also started cross dressing, exhibiting himself online and going to discreet hookups with gay men. Jambart says that he tried to commit suicide eight times during this period. So he sued the makers of Requip—pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline—for all the changes that came over him...and won. The appeals court in Rennes, northern France, decreed that he should receive 197,000 euros ($255,200) as compensation for his pain and suffering. This may sound like an overly litigious individual hitting the jackpot, but Jambart's claims do hold water. Like other drugs used to treat Parkinson's, Requip—or ropinirole—is known for some extreme potential side effects. Suicide attempts are rare, but not unheard of. Impulse control going out the window is more common, leading to pathological gambling and hypersexuality—which would seem to explain the horse betting and anonymous encounters. But Jambart might still need to have a heart-to-heart with his wife; Requip's lengthy list of potential side effects doesn't include the sudden onset of homosexuality.