Journal of Neuroscience Nursing

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Journal of Neuroscience Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0000000000000068
Pharmacology Update

New Treatment Options for the Management of Restless Leg Syndrome

Toro, Beatriz Elizabeth Carmona

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ABSTRACT: Restless leg syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a condition that includes sensations such as crawling, tingling, or aching in the limbs and creates an urge to move. The prevalence is estimated at 3% to 15% of the population and may present as primary RLS or secondary RLS. Secondary RLS may be a result of some medications, iron deficiency, or conditions such as neuropathies, or it may be related to pregnancy. The guidelines for diagnosis, which is usually made on clinical presentation, are discussed in the article. Medication use is not always necessary in the management of RLS. Multiple options are available and are reviewed within the article. Since 2011, two medications have been approved for the treatment of RLS, and these are discussed in detail. Neupro (rotigotine) is a dopamine agonist available as a patch that has been approved for the treatment of RLS as well as Parkinson disease. One of the major issues in treating RLS with dopamine agonists is augmentation, meaning symptoms occur earlier in the day due to medication use. This rate of augmentation with use of rotigotine is significantly lower than other dopamine agonists. Horizant (gabapentin enacarbil) is the only nondopaminergic medication approved for the treatment of RLS. Bioavailability is greater in gabapentin enacarbil as compared to gabapentin. Augmentation has not been associated with gabapentin or gabapentin enacarbil. Neupro (rotigotine) and Horizant (gabapentin enacarbil) provide additional treatment options for patients with RLS who are in need of medications. Consideration of each individual patient is necessary when determining if medication is needed and in choosing the appropriate agent.

© 2014 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses


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