Ropinirole: use in restless legs syndrome

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Ropinirole is a nonergoline dopamine agonist indicated for the treatment of Parkinson's disease as monotherapy or combination therapy. However, recent studies have demonstrated a role for this drug in the treatment of restless legs syndrome. Dopaminergic agents, such as ropinirole, are considered the first-line treatment for restless legs syndrome. The dosage of ropinirole needed to treat the symptoms of restless legs syndrome appears to be much smaller (0.25–4.0 mg/day) than that necessary for Parkinson's disease therapy. Ropinirole is generally well tolerated, with no serious adverse effects. The adverse effects of ropinirole are comparable with those of other dopamine agonists, including nausea and dizziness. In contrast to ergoline substances, ropinirole is free from retroperitoneal, pleural, pericardial fibroses and restrictive valvular heart disease. Clinical studies have indicated that ropinirole reduces the motor symptoms of restless legs syndrome effectively and improves sleep quantity and quality.

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