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Treatments for Restless Legs Syndrome

Treatments for Restless Legs Syndrome:

There is no cure for restless legs syndrome, but it can be managed in many people so that they can lead normal, productive lives and sleep well at night. A well integrated individualized treatment plan that includes a combination of therapies, such as preventive measures and medications, can best ensure that symptoms are successfully relieved or minimized.

The first step in treating restless legs syndrome is the prevention of symptoms. Prevention measures include not smoking, and minimizing the use of alcohol and caffeine, all of which can aggravate symptoms. It is also important to eat a well-balanced diet with sufficient quantities of iron and to maintain a regular sleep pattern. Moderate exercise can help people to relax and sleep better, but intense, excessive exercise may intensify symptoms. For some people relaxing hot baths or leg massages may provide some amount of relief.

Treatment also includes treating any underlying medical conditions, such as anemia, diabetes, iron deficiency, Parkinson's disease, and peripheral neuropathy.

People who take certain medications that can bring on symptoms, such as some anti-nausea, anti-psychotic, or anti-seizure medications, may benefit from switching to a different medication, as recommended. Women who only experience restless legs syndrome during pregnancy can be reassured that symptoms generally disappear after delivery.

Medications that may be used to treat restless legs syndrome include ropinirole (Requip) and other medications that are also used to treat Parkinson's disease. Medications called benzodiazepines, such as Valium, may also be prescribed and can help people to relax and get more sleep at night. Opioids, such as codeine or oxycodone, can help to bring on relaxation and can relief the discomfort of symptoms. All of these medications have potentially serious side effects and may not be appropriate for all patients.

Treatment List for Restless Legs Syndrome

The list of treatments mentioned in various sources for Restless Legs Syndrome includes the following list. Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment or change in treatment plans.

Restless Legs Syndrome: Is the Diagnosis Correct?

The first step in getting correct treatment is to get a correct diagnosis. Differential diagnosis list for Restless Legs Syndrome may include:

Hidden causes of Restless Legs Syndrome may be incorrectly diagnosed:

Restless Legs Syndrome: Marketplace Products, Discounts & Offers

Products, offers and promotion categories available for Restless Legs Syndrome:

Restless Legs Syndrome: Research Doctors & Specialists

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Unlabeled Drugs and Medications to treat Restless Legs Syndrome:

Unlabelled alternative drug treatments for Restless Legs Syndrome include:

Discussion of treatments for Restless Legs Syndrome:

NINDS Restless Legs Syndrome Information Page: NINDS (Excerpt)

Treatment for restless legs syndrome is symptomatic. Massage and application of cold compresses may provide temporary relief. Medications such as temazepam, levodopa/carbidopa, bromocriptine, pergolide mesylate, oxycodone, propoxyphene, and codeine are effective in relieving the symptoms. However, many of these medications have side effects. Current research suggests correction of iron deficiency may improve symptoms for some patients. (Source: excerpt from NINDS Restless Legs Syndrome Information Page: NINDS)

Restless Legs Syndrome: NWHIC (Excerpt)

Decreasing caffeine consumption may improve symptoms. (Source: excerpt from Restless Legs Syndrome: NWHIC)

Restless Legs Syndrome: NWHIC (Excerpt)

In mild cases of RLS, some people find that activities such as taking a hot bath, massaging the legs, using a heating pad or ice pack, exercising, and eliminating caffeine help alleviate symptoms. In more severe cases, medications are prescribed to control symptoms. Unfortunately, no one drug is effective for everyone with RLS. Individuals respond differently to medications based on the severity of symptoms, other medical conditions, and other medications being taken. A medication that is initially found to be effective may lose its effectiveness with nightly use; thus, it may be necessary to alternate between different categories of medication in order to keep symptoms under control. A nondrug approach called transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation may also improve symptoms in some RLS sufferers who also have PLMS. (Source: excerpt from Restless Legs Syndrome: NWHIC)

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