Medications for RLS (part 5)


Medications that increase dopamine in the brain: These medications affect levels of the chemical messenger dopamine in your brain. Ropinirole (Requip), rotigotine (Neupro) and pramipexole (Mirapex) are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of moderate to severe RLS. 

Drugs affecting calcium channels: Certain medications, such as gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise), gabapentin enacarbil (Horizant) and pregabalin (Lyrica), work for some people with RLS.

Opioids: Narcotic medications can relieve mild to severe symptoms, but they may be addicting if used in high doses Zohydro ER. Some examples include tramadol (Ultram, ConZip), codeine, oxycodone (Oxycontin, Roxicodone, others) and hydrocodone (Hysingla ER,).

Muscle relaxants and sleep medications: These drugs help you sleep better at night, but they don't eliminate the leg sensations, and they may cause daytime drowsiness. These medications are generally only used if no other treatment provides relief.

Caution: Sometimes dopamine medications that have worked for a while to relieve your RLS become ineffective, or you notice your symptoms returning earlier in the day or involving your arms. This is called augmentation. However, if the sensations are particularly bothersome during your last trimester, your doctor may approve the use of certain drugs.

    Courtesy: Mayo Clinic