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What Your Doctor is Reading: Side Effects a Downside of Drugs for Restless Legs Syndrome

By May 17, 2008


What your doctor is reading is a regular feature that reviews current information about medications from the medical journals that are most often read by physicians.

Drugs used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS) initially provide significant relief of symptoms. However, the gradual loss of effectiveness and bothersome side effects of the medications cause people with RLS to stop using them.

Nausea, dizziness, fatigue and brief headaches are the most common side effects of the three medications used to treat RLS - Mirapex® (pramipexole), Neupro® (rotigotine) and Requip® (ropinirole). The researchers recommended additional studies to determine which of the drugs is the most effective and safest.

On May 9, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first generic versions of Requip (ropinirole) tablets for the treatment of moderate to severe RLS.

Baker WL, White CM, Coleman CI. Effect of nonergot dopamine agonists on symptoms of restless legs syndrome. Ann Fam Med. 2008;6 (3):253-262.

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