Treatment for RLS focuses on controlling any underlying health condition that may be causing RLS (e.g., correcting a lack of iron). The doctor will first suggest non-medication measures to manage mild symptoms. For example, some people find that light exercise such as walking or stretching, taking a bath, massaging the leg, applying hot or cold packs, and practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga reduces the symptoms. Changing your sleep schedule to allow more time for sleeping in may also help. The doctor may suggest you keep your mind active (e.g., by reading) during periods of prolonged inactivity, such as traveling, in order to take your mind off RLS symptoms.
However, if your symptoms are frequent and severe or if you are having difficulty falling or staying asleep, the doctor may prescribe medications for you. The most common medications used include those that are also used for Parkinson's disease (such as ropinirole*, or pramipexole), anti-seizure medications (such as gabapentin), benzodiazepines (such as clonazepam), or opioids (such as codeine).
Since the cause of RLS is not well understood, there are no known ways to prevent it. However, people who have RLS may be able to decrease episodes by making simple lifestyle changes including eliminating caffeine and alcohol and by treating any underlying conditions.
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Restless-Leg-Syndrome