Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Treatment

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a non-pharmacological (drug-free) treatment, so it doesn’t cause the adverse side effects that can be associated with some of the RLS medications. Patients in the initial study noted mild side effects that were solved by loosening the straps.

This RLS treatment is cleared by the FDA and available by prescription from your doctor.

Vein Treatment for RLS

98% of patients affected by RLS in a recent study found symptom relief after treating varicose veins in their legs with non-surgical sclerotherapy*.  Many physicians believe that it is the underlying vein problems that are causing the Restless Leg Syndrome, and by treating this with an outpatient procedure, patients can get relief. 

How it works: Varicose veins are caused by unhealthy valves within the veins. When these valves fail or leak, the blood falls backward through the poorly functioning valves causing the blood to pool and appear enlarged, twisted or bulging. Scientists first theorized a connection with RLS due to the similar side effects of varicose vein sufferers including pain, fatigue, itching, burning, cramping, restlessness and throbbing.

The modern treatments for varicose veins (and the corresponding RLS symptoms) are highly effective, and don’t require surgery.  A specialist called a Phlebologist does a procedure called sclerotherapy, which has little to no pain, and usually takes an hour. The patient is able to walk afterwards and then resume normal activities.

Drugs Approved to Treat RLS

  • Horizant® (gabapentin enacarbil) was approved by the FDA in 2011 for the treatment of moderate-to-severe primary RLS.
  • Mirapex® was approved by the FDA in 2006 for the treatment of moderate-to-severe primary RLS.
  • Requip® (ropinirole hydrochloride), a drug commonly used to treat Parkinson disease, was given FDA approval at lower doses for the treatment of moderate-to-severe primary RLS in 2005.

All three drugs may cause side effects, such as sedation, nausea and dizziness and may cause patients to fall asleep without any warning, even while doing normal daily activities such as driving.

In addition to Horizant®, Requip®, and Mirapex®, there are several drugs approved for other conditions that have been shown to alleviate RLS symptoms. They are:

  • Dopaminergic agonists -- reduce
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