Restless Leg Syndrome Medications

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Fri, 06/25/2010

Restless leg syndrome is treating with lifestyle guidelines or home remedies, if it does not produce expected result, your doctor might prescribe some medications.

Restless leg syndrome has no specific medications, but medications that depress central nervous system, Parkinson’s disease medications, medication that prevents or relieves convulsions and some pain relieving medication can provide relief for RLS.

Medications used for RLS treatment

  • Central nervous system’s depressants: Benzodiazepines shows positive relief from the RLS symptoms.
  • Partkinson’s medication - Dopaminergic agents & Dopamine agonists (such as pergolide mesylate, pramipexole, and ropinirole hydrochloride) which are effective in the treatment of Parkinson's disease can limit or relive RLS symptoms and are considering as the initial medication of choice. Fast heartbeat, headache, nausea, and vomiting are some possible side effects.
  • Opioids - is pain-relieving medication beneficial in the treatment of RLS. Constipation, nausea, and vomiting are some possible side effects.
  • Anticonvulsants - such as carbamazepine and gabapentin are medicines that prevent or relieve convulsions used in the treatment of epileptic seizures. It can also relieve RLS symptoms. Dizziness, fatigue, and sleepiness are some possible side effects.
  • Ropinirole - is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, specifically for the treatment of moderate to severe RLS. This drug was first approving for Parkinson’s disease. Nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, constipation, unusual weakness, stomach upset, and pain, headache or dry mouth is some possible side effects.
  • Benzodiazepines - such as clonazepam and diazepam is a sleep-inducing medication. It may prescribe for mild or intermittent symptoms. It helps to obtain restful sleep but does not provide complete relief from RLS symptoms and can cause daytime sleepiness. It aggravates sleep apnea so advisable to avoid it in case of sleep apnea. Drowsiness, dizziness, stomach upset, blurred vision, headache, confusion, depression, impaired coordination, change in heart rate, trembling, weakness, memory loss, hangover effect (grogginess), dreaming or nightmares are some possible side effects.

One medicine does not work for all in the case of RLS. What is effective to one may actually worsen symptoms for another? In addition, medications taken regularly may lose their effectiveness, thus needs to change medications periodically.