Mental health disorders

Restless legs syndrome

(RLS)

About Restless legs syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) causes a powerful urge to move your legs. Your legs become uncomfortable when you are lying down or sitting. Some people describe it as a creeping, crawling, tingling, or burning sensation. Moving makes your legs feel better, but not for long. RLS can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.In most cases, there is no known cause for RLS. In other cases, RLS is caused by a disease or condition, such as anemia or pregnancy. Some medicines can also cause temporary RLS. Caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol may make symptoms worse.Lifestyle changes, such as regular sleep habits, relaxation techniques, and moderate exercise during the day can help. If those don't work, medicines may reduce the symptoms of RLS.Most people with RLS also have a condition called periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD). PLMD is a condition in which a person's legs twitch or jerk uncontrollably, usually during sleep. PLMD and RLS can also affect the arms. NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

All Medications for Restless legs syndrome

  • Horizant
    (Gabapentin Enacarbil)
    Prescription only

    Horizant (Gabapentin Enacarbil) is a good way to treat pain since it can be used with other pain medications and it's not addictive. You'll need to stop drinking alcohol and it can be somewhat expensive.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Neupro
    (rotigotine)
    Prescription only

    Neupro (rotigotine) is an effective treatment for Parkinson's disease or restless legs syndrome, but can cause troublesome side-effects related to impulse control.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Patch
  • Mirapex
    (pramipexole)
    Prescription only

    Mirapex (pramipexole) is effective for Parkinson's disease or restless legs syndrome, but can cause extreme drowsiness that affects daily living.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release
  • Klonopin
    (clonazepam)
    Prescription only

    Klonopin (clonazepam) can be used for immediate relief of panic attacks and seizures, but is not intended for long-term management.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Dissolving tablet
  • Tegretol
    (carbamazepine)
    Prescription only

    Tegretol (carbamazepine) is useful for preventing seizures and relieving certain types of nerve pain, but reduces how well many other medications work.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended-release pill
    • Suspension
    • Chewable tablet
  • Symmetrel
    (amantadine)
    Prescription only

    Symmetrel (amantadine) is a generic medicine that can be used alone, or with other medicines to treat early Parkinson's disease.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Liquid
  • Neurontin
    (gabapentin)
    Prescription only

    Neurontin (gabapentin) is an old seizure disorder medicine that is now used to treat nerve-related pain caused by different conditions.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Oral solution
    • Extended release
  • Requip
    (Ropinirole)
    Prescription only

    Requip (Ropinirole) is an effective medicine for Parkinson's disease or restless leg syndrome, but there are potentially serious side effects.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for Restless legs syndrome

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?
  • Don't start taking medications if you can get by. Over time your symptoms will worsen if you take prescriptions to help with RLS.

What’s your best coping strategy?
  • Exercise, walking and standing as much as possible. Sitting is OK for short periods, but laying down in any position triggers RLS. It usually starts in the evening when you want to relax. Once it starts it is hard to stop.

Besides medications, what else has worked for you?
  • Taking a hot bath.