Drug Treatment Available for Patients With Severe Restless Legs Syndrome

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Opioids Are Also Effective

Opioids that act on the µ receptor are effective in the control of the symptoms of RLS and PLMS, although concerns over the risk of dependency with short-acting and potent compounds in some patients have led to the recommendation that these agents should be used only in individuals who have not obtained relief with other groups of drugs.[2] In particular, oxycodone, dextropropoxyphene napthylate and dihydrocodeine have been used to good effect in clinical trials. The short-acting agent tilidine† (in combination with the opioid antagonist naloxone) can be used on an as-needed basis. Other potent long-acting opioids such as methadone or levorphanol tartrate† can be used in patients with severe disease, and epidural morphine may be useful in extreme cases.[1]

† Pramipexole is not available in France; tilidine is not available in France and Spain; levorphanol tartrate is not available in France and Spain.


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