Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 53, Issue 5, pp 1252–1256 | Cite as

Restless Legs Syndrome in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Response to Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Therapy

  • Leonard B. WeinstockEmail author
  • Steve E. Fern
  • Stephen P. Duntley
Original Paper


Background Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) occurs in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and fibromyalgia. Since restless legs syndrome (RLS) occurs with fibromyalgia, a link between IBS, SIBO, and RLS was studied. Methods BS patients with abnormal lactulose breath tests received rifaximin 1,200 mg day−1 for 10 days, followed by tegaserod 3 mg, long-term, and 1 month of zinc 220 mg day−1 and once-daily probiotic (N = 11) or rifaximin monotherapy (N = 2). IBS symptom improvement was assessed after rifaximin. RLS symptoms, IBS symptoms, and overall IBS global improvement were assessed at last posttreatment visit: 8/10 patients were followed long-term (mean, 139 days; range, 54–450 days). Results Ten of 13 patients exhibited ≥80% improvement from baseline in RLS symptoms. Five maintained complete resolution of RLS symptoms. Global gastrointestinal symptom improvement was great (n = 6), moderate (n = 5), or mild (n = 2). Conclusion This study suggests that SIBO associated with IBS may be a factor in some RLS patients and SIBO therapy provides long-term RLS improvement.


Antibiotic Irritable bowel syndrome Restless legs syndrome Rifaximin 



Financial disclosure: Partial funding provided by a grant from Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard B. Weinstock
    • 1
    Email author
  • Steve E. Fern
    • 1
  • Stephen P. Duntley
    • 1
  1. 1.Washington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA

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