Restless Legs Syndrome Health Center

Treatments of Restless Legs Syndrome are usually lifestyle changes that may reduce or relieve symptoms in mild to moderate RLS.

These lifestyle changes can include limiting the intake of: caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco, maintaining a regular sleep pattern, exercising, massaging the legs, taking a hot shower, or using heat or cold on the affected area.

There are medications that help with the symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome but no single drug helps every RLS patient. Requip (ropinirole) and Mirapex (pramipexole) are both approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of moderate to severe Restless Legs Syndrome.

Common drugs prescribed to treat symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome:

  • Dopaminergic agents, such as levodopa and carbidopa, which are largely used by Parkinson's Disease patients, can reduce RLS symptoms when they are taken in the evening before bed.
  • Opioids such as codeine, oxycodone, or propoxyphene can help diminish pain and relax a person so that they may fall and stay asleep easier.
  • Anticonvulsants, such as gabapentin and pregabalin can decrease some of the creeping sensations caused by nerve pain.

These drugs have side effects and a person should talk with their doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication.

Review Date: 
October 7, 2013
Last Updated:
June 2, 2014