Drug Treatment Available for Patients With Severe Restless Legs Syndrome

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RLS is characterised by unpleasant sensations in the extremities, particularly the legs, that occur at rest and are relieved by movement.[1] Patients report sensations that are not painful, but that are distinctly bothersome and that can lead to physical disability and emotional stress. Motor restlessness, with bilateral and symmetrical creeping, crawling, burning, aching and itching, are common features.[1,2] These sensations are usually described as being felt deep inside the legs rather than being superficial (i.e. on the skin). Walking relieves leg symptoms, with kicking, flexing or massage being effective during less severe episodes. Symptoms usually develop at night, which explains the sleep disturbance reported by those affected.

The syndrome is common, affecting as many as 10 to 15% of the population (US figures),[2] and can begin at any stage of life, although most patients seek medical attention in middle to old age.[1]


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