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Ropinirole for the treatment of restless legs syndrome

Authors Clete A Kushida

Published 15 December 2006 Volume 2006:2(4) Pages 407—419


Clete A Kushida

Stanford University Center of Excellence for Sleep Disorders, Stanford, CA, USA

Abstract: Dopaminergic agents, anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines, opiates, and iron supplementation comprise the classes of medications commonly used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS), which is a disorder that is estimated to affect about 1 in 10 individuals worldwide and impacts an affected patient’s sleep, mood, daytime function, and quality of life. RLS is characterized by an urge to move the legs that is worse at bedtime and at rest; the symptoms are temporarily relieved by leg movement. It is frequently accompanied by periodic limb movements during sleep (PLMS), which may independently disrupt sleep and may cause daytime drowsiness. Dopaminergic agents are considered to be first-line therapy in the management of RLS as well as PLMS. Ropinirole (Requip®, GlaxoSmithKline) is a dopamine agonist that was the first medication approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of moderate-to-severe primary RLS. Based on several large-scale clinical trials and open-label clinical series, this medication has been demonstrated to be effective and safe in treating the motor symptoms of RLS and improving sleep quality.

Keywords: ropinirole, restless legs syndrome, RLS, periodic limb movements

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