Efficacy and Side Effects of Treatment for Restless Legs Syndrome

Armen Hareyan's picture

A meta-analysis of 14 trials involving 3,197 patients with restless legs syndrome finds that although drug therapy using nonergot dopamine agonists - the mainstay of therapy for patients with the condition - reduces the severity of symptoms of resless legs syndrome, significant numbers of patients discontinue their use because of adverse side effects, including nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and fatigue.


Further analysis suggests these treatments are most beneficial in the first weeks of therapy, with their effects diminishing somewhat over time.

The researchers call for future research to compare directly the efficacy of individual nonergot dopamine agonists with each other, as well as to include a longer follow-up period to assess the long-term effects of these agents.

Effect of Nonergot Dopamine Agonists on Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome
By William L. Baker, Pharm.D., et al