Requip (ropinirole) Approved for Restless Leg Syndrome

Parkinson's Drug Approved For New Use

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Requip (ropinirole) to treat moderate to severe Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). The drug was first approved for Parkinson’s disease in 1997.

Restless Legs Syndrome is a condition that affects about ten percent of the population. The disorder is characterized by an urge to move the legs, usually accompanied by or caused by uncomfortable leg sensations. For most people with the condition, symptoms begin or worsen during periods of rest or inactivity and are partially or totally relieved by movement.

Symptoms typically worsen or occur only in the evening or at night, and can disturb sleep of the person affected or their partner. It is most common in people over the age of 60, but it can develop at any age and may be related to conditions such as anemia, pregnancy or diabetes.

The medication was found to be effective in cases of moderate to severe RLS. Severity of muscle movement and discomfort, sleep disturbance, mood and overall quality of life was measured and showed significant improvement in those using this drug when compared to those using a placebo.

Side effects reported included nausea, headache, and vomiting. It can also cause sleepiness and should be used cautiously especially when engaged in activities such as operation of a motor vehicle. It may also cause low blood pressure that can lead to fainting during early treatment.

Continue Reading