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Restless legs syndrome.

Q I was recently diagnosed with restless leg syndrome, though I think I've had the problem for years. Is there a cure that doesn't include side effects?

A Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is the spontaneous movement of the leg while at rest, and is often a result of having another condition, such as diabetes or even low iron levels. Treating those problems can sometimes help the RLS disappear, or at least become less of a nuisance. Quitting smoking and quitting or at least reducing caffeine and alcohol intake may also make a big difference. If your condition is relatively mild, regular exercise and the use of heating pads may reduce your symptoms.

If medications are necessary, physicians have several drugs that have been shown to be effective in treating RLS. But in most cases, the medications were developed to treat other conditions. For example, drugs to treat Parkinson's disease, including ropinirole (Requip) and pramipexole (Mirapex), also have FDA approval to treat moderate-to-severe RLS. The epilepsy medications gabapentin (Neurontin) also may work for some people with RLS.

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Title Annotation:ASK THE DOCTOR
Publication:Healthy Years
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2013
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