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Can Antidepressants Cause Restless Leg Syndrome

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Does Doxepin Cause Restless Leg Syndrome

What is Restless Leg Syndrome? (Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments)

Doxepinrestless legs syndromedisorderdisorder

Sertraline, fluoxetine, and amitriptyline appear to increase periodic limb movements that do not disrupt sleep and are thus unlikely to be clinically significant. On the other hand, bupropion may reduce restless legs syndrome symptoms, at least in the short term.

Similarly, what medications aggravate restless leg syndrome? certain medications that may aggravate RLS symptoms, such as antinausea drugs , antipsychotic drugs , antidepressants that increase serotonin , and some cold and allergy medications that contain

Herein, does doxepin help restless legs?

These include mirtazapine , doxepin , amitriptyline and most other tricyclic antidepressants, with the exception of desipramine. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are commonly used antidepressants and can be very helpful, even for people who have RLS.

What triggers restless leg syndrome?

Other factors associated with the development or worsening of restless legs syndrome include: Chronic diseases. Certain chronic diseases and medical conditions, including iron deficiency, Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure, diabetes, and peripheral neuropathy often include symptoms of RLS.

What Antidepressant Does Not Aggravate Restless Leg Syndrome

farmerswife over a year ago


Guest over a year ago

over a year ago

In reply to marti on 2012-11-20 – click to read

over a year ago


I suddenly started with this RLS problem.Â; Then I checked out this site.Â; I quit the St. John’s wort I had been taking three times a day and the problem has subsided.Â; I was taking the Research Grade as prescribed.Â; So, It must be trueÂ; that something that affects seratonin which, I believe tamps down dopamine will do this.Â; It is scary.Â; As movement disorders from medication can become permanent.Â; I would stay away from Ldopa or the others that help RLS as they , as far as I can gather from reading about this up dopamine.Â; Maybe wrong, but experience is the best teacher.

Trying to cope with mild depression and anxiety with upbeat thinking and exercise.Â;

Once I took Celexa for six years and woke up one morning with my little finger on my right hand moving and it did not stop for days.Â; I took benedrylÂ; finally and it stopped.Â; But, needless to say, this scared me big time.Â; Then I went to St. John’s Wort.Â; Must be careful with that too.Â;

I quit all meds and am trying my best to get by without.Â; I know for some this is not easy.

Good Luck To All Of You

What Causes Restless Legs Syndrome

In most cases, the cause of RLS is unknown .; However, RLS has a genetic component and can be found in families where the onset of symptoms is before age 40.; Specific gene variants have been associated with RLS.; Evidence indicates that low levels of iron in the brain also may be responsible for RLS.

Considerable evidence also suggests that RLS is related to a dysfunction in one of the sections of the brain that control movement that use the brain chemical dopamine.; Dopamine is needed to produce smooth, purposeful muscle activity and movement.; Disruption of these pathways frequently results in involuntary movements.; Individuals with Parkinsons disease, another disorder of the basal ganglias dopamine pathways, have increased chance of developing RLS.

RLS also appears to be related to or accompany the following factors or underlying conditions:

  • end-stage renal disease and hemodialysis
  • iron deficiency
  • certain medications that may aggravate RLS symptoms, such as antinausea drugs , antipsychotic drugs , antidepressants that increase serotonin , and some cold and allergy medications that contain older antihistamines
  • use of alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine
  • pregnancy, especially in the last trimester; in most cases, symptoms usually disappear within 4 weeks after delivery
  • neuropathy .

Sleep deprivation and other sleep conditions like sleep apnea also may aggravate or trigger symptoms in some people.; Reducing or completely eliminating these factors may relieve symptoms.

Read Also: How To Breathe Better When Sleeping

Risk Factors For Periodic Limb Movement Disorder

About 6% of the general population has PLMD. However, the prevalence in older adults is much higher, reaching almost 60%. Studies suggest that PLMD may be especially common in older women. As with RLS, there are many conditions that are associated with PLMD. They include sleep apnea, spinal cord injuries, stroke, narcolepsy, and diseases that destroy nerves or the brain over time. Certain drugs, including some antidepressants and anti-seizure medications, may also contribute to PLMD. About a third of people with PLMD also have RLS.

What Are Common Signs And Symptoms Of Restless Legs

Antidepressants That Dont Cause Restless Leg Syndrome

People with RLS feel the irresistible urge to move, which is accompanied by uncomfortable sensations in their lower limbs that are unlike normal sensations experienced by people without the disorder.; The sensations in their legs are often difficult to define but may be described as aching throbbing, pulling, itching, crawling, or creeping.; These sensations less commonly affect the arms, and rarely the chest or head.; Although the sensations can occur on just one side of the body, they most often affect both sides.; They can also alternate between sides. The sensations range in severity from uncomfortable to irritating to painful.

Because moving the legs relieves the discomfort, people with RLS often keep their legs in motion to minimize or prevent the sensations.; They may pace the floor, constantly move their legs while sitting, and toss and turn in bed.

A classic feature of RLS is that the symptoms are worse at night with a distinct symptom-free period in the early morning, allowing for more refreshing sleep at that time.; Some people with RLS have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.; They may also note a worsening of symptoms if their sleep is further reduced by events or activity.

People with RLS can sometimes experience remissionsspontaneous improvement over a period of weeks or months before symptoms reappearusually during the early stages of the disorder.; In general, however, symptoms become more severe over time.

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Articles On Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome, or RLS, is a common nerve condition where you have unpleasant creeping, tugging, or pulling feelings in your legs. You might also have an overwhelming urge to move your legs. The symptoms are usually worse at night or when you’re resting.

Doctors don’t know the cause of RLS, and thereâs no cure. But certain things can trigger symptoms. Knowing your triggers and how to avoid them will help.

Possible triggers include:

What Medications Do You Usually Recommend What Are The Possible Side Effects

Dopamine medication can help, but can occasionally have the side effect of the body getting used to it if taken at high doses. Another class of medication is related to gabapentin, a medication historically used for seizures. There are some new medications such as Neupro, a dopamine patch you place on your skin instead of swallowing as a pill. Horizant is a new gabapentin/neurontin-related medication that needs less adjusting of doses compared to older medications.

Pain relievers dont work for RLS. If they help, you probably have something else. I have had many people take over-the-counter sleep aids. Benadryl is an ingredient in most of these treatments and makes RLS symptoms worse. Then they take even higher doses and it sets off a bad spiral. Other medications that make it worse: dopamine antagonists, lithium carbonate, antidepressants such as tricyclics, SSRIs . Wellbutrin is an antidepressant that is an exception and has not been

shown to increase symptoms of RLS.

Recommended Reading: How To Get Better Deep Sleep

I Have These Other Health Conditions How Can I Best Manage Them Together

If you also have depression, you may be on a medication that worsens RLS symptoms. Dont stop it by yourself, but ask your doctor if another kind of antidepressant can work instead. Buproprion is an antidepressant that can help RLS symptoms in some cases.

People with RLS dont sleep as much, and less sleep is linked to depression, diabetes, and high blood pressure. But it is hard to treat high blood pressure without addressing the sleep problem, too. Unfortunately, sleep is often ignored in these patients.

Restless Legs Syndrome Treatment

What can relieve restless legs syndrome? | In Good Shape – talk

There are several treatments available in Australia that can relieve the symptoms of restless legs syndrome. Among people with secondary RLS, treating the underlying condition can potentially cure the condition. Treatment for primary RLS may involve self-care measures, including ensuring you have good sleep hygiene practices. Medicines may be recommended if other measures have not helped or for severe symptoms.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Restless Leg Syndrome

Symptoms of restless leg syndrome tend to get worse during the night when someone is sleeping, but they can also occur during the daytime when the person is;awake. Sitting for long periods, laying down or staying in one sedentary position usually makes symptoms worse.

The most common;restless leg syndrome symptoms include:

  • Sensations in the legs that are described as creeping, crawling, jittery, burning or aching. Most of the time, sensations are felt deep inside the calf;muscles or in the feet, thighs and even arms.
  • A strong urge or feeling that you need to immediately scratch, move, jiggle or stretch the legs in order to make sensations stop.
  • Temporary relief from symptoms when you move the legs .
  • Involuntary leg twitches and jerks, similar to having a cramp . Leg twitches caused by night cramps are;among;the most commonly reported periodic limb movements due to RLS.
  • Getting poor sleep due to feeling uncomfortable and waking up often. For many people, RLS symptoms start soon after they fall asleep and persistent intermittently throughout the night, resulting in interrupted sleep, insomnia, and daytime drowsiness or fatigue.

One of the biggest problems associated with RLS is that it disturbs normal sleep and can lead to many complications associated with chronic fatigue and under-sleeping. ;It also causes many people to turn to prescription sleep-aid or pain-reducing medications, which pose a high risk for addiction, dependency and side effects.

Where Can I Get More Information

For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute’s Brain Resources and Information Network at:

Office of Communications and Public LiaisonNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesda, MD 20892

NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.

All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

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What To Do About Restless Legs Syndrome

Bedtime is far from relaxing for women with this common condition.

Restless legs syndrome is a sensory-motor disorder that causes an irresistible urge to move the legs, often accompanied by an uncomfortable “creepy-crawly” sensation. RLS affects 3% to 5% of adults and is twice as common in women as in men. Symptoms typically flare at night, just as you’re settling down in bed, but they may also arise when you’re resting in a chair. RLS not only causes discomfort and distress, but can also wreak havoc on sleep, causing daytime sleepiness and mood changes. Fortunately, certain lifestyle strategies can help you manage milder forms of RLS, and several medications can provide relief for more serious symptoms.

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How Long Will Restless Legs Syndrome Last

Restless leg syndrome

Symptoms of primary or idiopathic RLS typically worsen over time, but, for some people, weeks or months may pass without any symptoms. If the RLS stems from a condition, illness, pregnancy, or medication, it may go away as soon as the trigger has gone.

RLS can pose problems for women during pregnancy.

Women who already have RLS can find that symptoms get worse during pregnancy. However, becoming pregnant can lead to RLS in its own right. Symptoms tend to get worse as the pregnancy progresses and are especially likely in the third trimester.

The cause of the increased incidence of RLS during pregnancy is unknown, but the following factors are believed to be involved:

  • low levels of minerals or vitamins, such as iron and folate
  • sleep deprivation as a result of changes in the body and discomfort
  • changes in the hormones
  • increased sensitivity of the senses

This condition has not been widely researched during pregnancy. However, some of the drug treatments used outside of pregnancy, such as rotigotine and gabapentin, have not been assessed for safe use in women who are pregnant.

Behavioral treatments, such as mild exercise and a healthy sleeping pattern, are often recommended as a first-line treatment for women during pregnancy.

If iron levels are low and thought to be the cause of RLS, oral iron supplements are safe to prescribe during pregnancy. In severe cases, higher concentrations may be administered intravenously through a drip.


There are two main types of RLS:

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How Is Restless Legs Syndrome Diagnosed

Since there is no specific test for RLS, the condition is diagnosed by a doctors evaluation.; The five basic criteria for clinically diagnosing the disorder are:

  • A strong and often overwhelming need or urge to move the legs that is often associated with abnormal, unpleasant, or uncomfortable sensations.
  • The urge to move the legs starts or get worse during rest or inactivity.
  • The urge to move the legs is at least temporarily and partially or totally relieved by movements.;
  • The urge to move the legs starts or is aggravated in the evening or night.
  • The above four features are not due to any other medical or behavioral condition.

Diagnosing RLS in children may be especially difficult, since it may be hard for children to describe what they are experiencing, when and how often the symptoms occur, and how long symptoms last.; Pediatric RLS can sometimes be misdiagnosed as “growing pains” or attention deficit disorder.

Do Antidepressants Cause Restless Legs Syndrome

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What Is Restless Leg Syndrome

Contrary to its name, restless leg syndrome is best characterized as a neurological sensory disorder that causes both sleep and movement issues. Restless leg syndrome affects 7 to 10% of people in the U.S. It can range in severity, frequency and sensation, and typically features hallmark symptoms including:

  • Uncomfortable sensations in the legs that may be described as throbbing, crawly, creeping or achy
  • Irresistible need to move the legs, which temporarily relieves the uncomfortable leg sensations
  • Appears at night and the discomfort makes it difficult to sleep
  • Typically affects one or both legs, but can also involve the arms and less commonly the head or chest
  • People often experience a time in the early morning hours without symptoms

You can explain creepy-crawly cramps in your legs, but that doesnt convey the true misery of restless legs, shared Mighty contributor Simone Yemm, adding:

The urge to move the legs is unbearable. Yes, you can hold back for a while, just like you can hold your breath for a while. Eventually, one way or the other, your body is going to force you to take action. There is no arguing with inherent biology. The worse the RLS, the more urgent, incessant and frequent the need to move.

Restless Leg Syndrome Symptoms Causes & Treatments

Causes of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS #2)

By Jillian Levy, CHHC

Its estimated that restless leg syndrome affects more than one in 10 American adults every year . ;RLS is a condition characterized by uncomfortable feelings in your legs, giving you a strong urge to move them in order to find relief. Because symptoms tend to get worse overnight, RLS is associated with a higher risk for insomnia and daytime fatigue, plus increased use of sleep-aid medications, alcohol and caffeine.

Middle-aged women, including those going through or past menopause, tend to experience RLS more than any other population. Most people describe the symptoms of restless leg syndrome which can include;experiencing jittery sensations, tingling, burning and aching in one or both legs as more annoying than actually painful.;Some people equate the sensations associated with RLS as the feeling of bugs crawling up your leg. In other words, although its not very dangerous long term, RLS causes some downright unpleasant side effects.

The desire to quickly get RLS sensations to stop makes people twitch, jiggle or move their legs throughout the night, leading to poor sleep. The worst part is that moving the legs usually doesnt help RLS symptoms stay away for long they usually return pretty quickly, and the cycle continues.

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Levodopa And Other Dopaminergic Drugs

Dopaminergic drugs increase the availability of the chemical messenger dopamine in the brain and are one of the first-line treatments for severe RLS and PLMD. These drugs reduce the number of limb movements per hour and improve the subjective quality of sleep. People with either condition who take these drugs have experienced up to 100% initial reduction in symptoms.

Dopaminergic drugs, however, can have severe side effects . They do not appear to be as helpful for RLS related to dialysis as they do for RLS from other causes.

Dopaminergic drugs include dopamine precursors and dopamine receptor agonists.

Dopamine Precursors

The dopamine precursor levodopa was once a popular drug for severe RLS, although today it is usually recommended only for patients with occasional symptoms who may take it nightly as needed. It may also be helpful for long car rides or plane trips. The standard preparations combine levodopa with carbidopa, which improves the action and duration of levodopa and reduces some of its side effects, particularly nausea. Levodopa combinations are well tolerated and safe.

Levodopa acts fast, and the treatment is usually effective within the first few days of therapy.

A rebound effect causes increased leg movements at night or in the morning as the dose wears off, or as tolerance to the drug builds up.


Side Effects

Long-term use of dopaminergic drugs can lead to tolerance, in which the drugs become less effective.

Withdrawal Symptoms

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