Skip to main content

Dopamine agonists may be effective for restless legs

Restless legs syndrome is defined as an urge to move legs often accompanied by uncomfortable and unpleasant sensations in the legs. Check ferritin and reverse iron deficiency first.

Tools for Practice1 reported on a systematic review on pramipexole. Dopamine agonists can be considered as first-line treatment for restless legs syndrome (RLS) but be aware of adverse effects such as augmentation (paradoxical increase in RLS symptom severity following initial symptom reduction), loss of impulse control, and drowsiness.

Initiate treatment with pramipexole; starting dose 0.25 mg, maximal dose 0.75 mg. The NNT is about 5. Ropinirole is another option, with a starting dose of 0.125 mg, maximal dose 4 mg orally once daily 2 hours before bedtime. These medications are also used in treating Parkinson’s Disease and both are funded in New Zealand.

Click the button below to be added to our mailing list for Gems and updates.

Join our email list