Medicines for Restless Legs Syndrome?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder of the nervous system (the system consisting of your brain, spinal cord, and nerves).  Currently, there is no cure for RLS.  However, lifestyle changes, nonmedicine treatments, and medicines may relieve symptoms and help you sleep better.

Several types of medicines have been used to treat RLS, including those listed below.

  • Dopamine agonists: These medicines work by affecting the level of a chemical called dopamine in your brain. Dopamine agonists studied in the research for this summary include:
    • Pramipexole (Mirapex®)*
    • Ropinirole (Requip®)*
    • Rotigotine (Neupro®) skin patch*
  • Antiseizure medicines: These medicines are usually used to stop seizures and nerve pain. You do not have to have seizures to take this type of medicine. Antiseizure medicines studied in the research for this summary include:
  • Iron: Iron is usually given to people who have too little iron in their body. Iron can be taken as a pill or given through an intravenous (IV) tube in your arm.
    • Taking too much iron can be dangerous, so it is important to talk with your doctor before taking iron.

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