A French man is suing drug company GlaxoSmithKline because he claims the Parkinson's drug Requip turned him into a "compulsive gay sex addict."
According to Fox News, Didier Jambart, now 51, took Requip from 2003-05 (during which time he was married to a woman). He says that due to side effects of the drug, he gambled away his life savings, and also became a "compulsive gay sex addict and began exposing himself on the Internet and cross-dressing." His lawyer said that while engaging in "risky" sexual behaviors, he was also raped. Now Jambart is seeking $610,000 from Glaxo for selling him a "defective" drug.
What's crazy about this lawsuit is that Jambart might have a case. Requip's warning label now states that some users of the drug "developed gambling problems or other intense urges or behaviors that were compulsive or unusual for them, such as increased sexual urges or behaviors." But that warning wasn't added til 2006, well after Jambart stopped using the drug. So it's actually possible that Requip did contribute to his compulsive gambling and sex, and that he was never properly warned about that risk. It seems pretty unlikely, though, that it made him gay.
The very idea of a drug changing sexual orientation is pretty disturbing. It's easy to imagine homophobes taking this idea as an invitation to try other drugs as part of so-called "reparative therapy," or as proof that homosexuality is just some sort of delusion. That said, sexuality is fluid, and if a drug can cause sexual compulsions, maybe it can tip a person towards certain partners as well. But all we know about Jambart is that he was married — we don't know if he had or wanted male partners in the past, and if he did, he now has every reason to conceal that fact. So without further information, it still seems more likely that Requip intensified his existing sexual desires or made them compulsive, rather than actually changing them.
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