Medical News Bulletin examines a recent report, published in The Official Journal of the American Academy of Neurology, on the treatments for Restless Legs Syndrome:
Evidence supports the recommendations for clinicians to consider prescribing a pharmacologic agent in cases of moderate to severe primary RLS. Drugs shown to most effectively reduce symptoms include pramipexole, rotigotine, cabergoline, and gabapentin enacarbil. Due to the lack of head-to-head comparisons of these pharmacologic agents, little data exists to determine any preferential uses of one agent over another. Data does suggest that for clinicians who may wish to target increasing quantity or quality of sleep in patients with primary RLS, a pharmacologic agent which is known to improve sleep parameters should be used.
The report acknowledges the various factors of clinical complications resultant from RLS, including anxiety and depression, overall health and quality of life, and iron deficiencies. For patients with diagnosed deficiencies, researchers recommend that clinicians start with prescribing vitamin C and/or vitamin E supplements. Exercise also showed signs of efficacy as a treatment method for RLS, whereas other nonpharmacological therapies such as vibrating pads demonstrated a lower rate of effectiveness in reducing symptoms.
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