Restless legs – Peace at last?

April 27, 2008

The headline may be mildly amusing, but Restl(RLS) certainly is no joke for sufferers. The name is highly apt because this is a condition in which you have very unpleasant sensations of tingling or itching in the calves, thighs, feet or arms and feel extremely uncomfortable while you’re sitting or lying down. It seems to help if you get up and move around to alleviate it – in other words it makes you restless.

It affects both sexes, can begin at any age and may get worse as you get older. Because it is often worse at night, restless leg syndrome can disrupt sleep so you start taking siestas and are less alert during the day, It certainly makes any form of confined travel, such as in an aeroplane, extremely difficult. Now there is news from the USA of a skin patch, which although intended for use on those with Parkinson’s disease, has in trials proved helpful for Restless Legs Syndrome. The rotigotine patch, a dopamine agonist, improved the trial subject’s condition by about 36%. The researchers are optimistic that this once-a-day application will be easier for patients than the current 2-3 times a day for oral medicine. The patch is FDA approved for Parkinson’s but not yet for Restless Leg Syndrome, but it may be worth talking to your doctor about to see if it is available here yet.


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