Restless Leg Syndrome Medication To Minimize Symptoms

Restless Leg Syndrome is often related to some other underlying illness, for example, one of the illnesses could be iron deficiency anemia. Before medication it is advisable for patients to reduce or eliminate some common habits like caffeine and alcohol. Symptoms of restless leg syndrome can definitely be diminished by quitting smoking. If a person suffering from restless leg syndrome gets better sleep and exercise, it can be of great help.

For restless leg syndrome medication the drugs used for intermittent symptoms were carbidopa-levodopa, opioids or tramadol. Very recently gabapentin (Neurontin) has been found helpful. The new restless leg syndrome drugs approved by the FDA are Requip and Mirapex. Besides these forms of restless leg syndrome medication, patients have been advised an alternative treatment like acupuncture as well. Along with the restless leg syndrome medication, patients are advised to avoid caffeine, take warm and cold baths, electric nerve stimulation and oral magnesium.

Relief Of Symptoms

For most of the patients the restless leg syndrome medication is directed towards relieving the symptoms. Hence the restless leg syndrome medication mainly consists of central nervous system depressants, at least for the initial treatment. With levodopa and carbidopa, patients have been seen to develop augmentation. This means that the symptoms are reduced at night, but they again develop earlier in the day as usual. In 2005, ropinirole (Requip) was the only restless leg syndrome drug.

Mild And Severe Symptoms

For mild or intermittent symptoms the restless leg syndrome medication consists of benzodiazepines. Through this medication the patients can get restful sleep, but it does not relieve them of all symptoms. It also causes drowsiness during the day. They are depressants and may aggravate sleep apnea in some patients. If the symptoms are severe, codeine or oxycodone can be prescribed, so that the pain can be considerably diminished and the patient can relax. But there may be side effects like dizziness, nausea, vomiting and also the risk of addiction.


Often anticonvulsants are given to patients as restless leg syndrome medication. In this way their sensory disturbances are decreased and the creeping and crawling sensations stop immediately. But there are side effects here too and they are dizziness, fatigue and sleepiness.

Unfortunately there is no single restless leg syndrome medication. If one drug helps one patient, it may worsen the symptoms of another. Also, if medication is taken for a long period of time, it may lose its effect and that is why there should be a change of medications periodically.

Restless leg syndrome is unfortunately a lifelong condition and often the symptoms get worse with age. But the current therapies can control the disease by minimizing the symptoms and increasing the periods of restful sleep.