Parkinson's Drug Quiets RLS

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

An international study found that the drug pergolide,used to treat patients with Parkinson's disease,appears to work in patients with restless legs syndrome(RLS). This condition, characterized by sensory andmotor abnormalities of the limbs associated with anurge to move, afflicts 5% to 10% of the population. In thestudy, 100 RLS patients in 7 countries were given antinauseamedication for 10 to 14 days before taking pergolideor a placebo. (Nausea is a side effect of pergolide.)

The researchers measured sleep efficiency and periodiclimb movements (PLMS) during sleep. Theseverity of RLS was assessed by the validated InternationalRLS Scale. "Our study demonstrates that pergolidesubstantially improves PLMS measures and subjectivesleep disturbances associated with RLS," said studyauthor Claudia Trenkwalder, MD. (The findings werereported in Neurology, April 27, 2004.)