Could Those Creepy-Crawly Nighttime Leg Sensations Be A Treatable Medical Condition? One Woman’s Search For Relief
For more than 10 years, Beth McFadden, a 44-year- old mother of three, lived with strange leg sensations that were not only difficult to describe, but were also uncomfortable and disruptive.
“At night, I would be lying in bed, just on the verge of going to sleep, and I would get these feelings in my legs that I needed to make go away. It was a tingling sensation-my legs would feel like something was crawling deep inside them. I felt like I had to move my legs and then would start tossing and turning. Sometimes, I had to get out of bed and walk to relieve the feelings. This would usually go on for quite some time, preventing me from falling asleep.”
Beth knew that what she was experiencing wasn’t normal, so she started talking to others about her symptoms. At the time, her doctors did not know how to help her. Beth even thought the symptoms might be related to her diet or exercise habits.
“I was frustrated. Night after night, I would feel the same creepy-crawly sensations in my legs, and getting up to relieve the feelings would keep me from falling asleep. Sometimes, I would get these sensations during the day if I was sitting for a long time: I couldn’t really sit and read, watch TV, go to the movies. Travel became difficult because I couldn’t sit for long periods of time on airplanes or in the car.”
Recently, Beth saw an article about Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) in a local newspaper. It described RLS as a common and disruptive neurological condition that is characterized by a compelling urge to move the legs and by uncomfortable or sometimes painful sensations in the legs. These sensations are frequently described as creeping-crawling, tingling, pulling or tightening in the legs.
Beth wondered if this could be the same condition she had lived with for all these years.
She brought the article to her doctor to help her describe what she was experiencing. After an examination, Beth’s physician diagnosed her with RLS, a recognized-and now treatable-medical condition.
“I’m relieved to know that what I’ve been experiencing is a recognized medical condition. For me, my RLS diagnosis was an important step forward in my quest for relief from the disruptive creepy-crawly feelings that I had lived with for so long.”
In May 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Requip® (ropinirole HCl) Tablets for the treatment of moderate-to-severe primary RLS, making Requip the first and only treatment for RLS of any type or severity.
In a recently published study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers found that patients taking Requip reported significant improvement in RLS symptoms when compared with placebo, and onset of symptom improvement was observed after two nights of treatment.
Important Safety Information About Requip®
Prescription Requip Tablets are not for everyone. Requip may cause you to fall asleep or feel very sleepy while doing normal activities such as driving; or to faint or feel dizzy, nauseated or sweaty when you stand up from sitting or lying down. If you experience these problems, talk with your doctor. Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or are taking other medicines that make you drowsy. Side effects include nausea, drowsiness, vomiting and dizziness. Most patients were not bothered enough to stop taking Requip.
Requip should be taken once daily one to three hours before bedtime.
In the study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings and entitled “Therapy with Ropinirole, Efficacy And Tolerability in Restless Legs Syndrome” (TREAT RLS US), the most common adverse events reported in the ropinirole group (n=187) versus placebo (n=193) were nausea (43 percent versus 8 percent), headache (17 percent versus 19 percent), somnolence (13 percent versus 7 percent) and nasopharyngitis (11 percent versus 12 percent). The withdrawal rate due to adverse events was similar between the two groups (ropinirole 3 percent versus placebo 4 percent).