Calming Restless Legs

Do you ever feel an uncontrollable urge to move your legs? You could have a condition called restless legs syndrome. It often goes misdiagnosed despite estimates that up to 15 percent of the adult population may have it. A new treatment offers patients relief from restless legs syndrome.

Just keeping her eyes on the road while driving used to be a problem for Cheryl. She struggled with constant fatigue. “A bomb could have gone off in the room, and I would not have known it,” she says.

When her legs started to bother her, Cheryl went to the doctor. She was diagnosed with restless legs syndrome. People with restless legs constantly fight the urge to move them. That feeling is often followed by a tingling or crawling sensation.

Cheryl says, “The feeling that I have when my legs are bothering me is that I can’t sit still. I need to get up and move around.”

A neurologist at prescribed ropinirole HCL (Requip®), which is a drug approved to treat Parkinson’s disease. Low doses have been found to calm restless legs.

Dr. says, “These are some of the same medications that Parkinson’s disease patients take and basically mimic dopamine, which is one of the brain’s neural chemicals.”

Without dopamine, signals in the brain get confused. Thanks to ropinirole HCL, Cheryl sleeps better at night, and life is more pleasant during the day. “I woke up one morning, and it was like I had come out of a coma or something,” she says — feeling rested for the first time in years.

So far, patients have reported only minor side effects from ropinirole HCL, including stomach discomfort, dizziness, headaches and drowsiness.

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