Restless Legs Syndrome and Other Movement Disorders of Sleep—Treatment Update
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Purpose of review
The purpose of this review article is to summarize and discuss the recent advances in the treatment of restless legs syndrome (RLS), as well as REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), and periodic leg movement disorder (PLMD).
Traditionally, dopaminergic therapy has been considered the sole option for first-line treatment of RLS due to their impressive acute efficacy. Dopamine agonists such as oral pramipexole and ropinirole, as well as transdermal rotigotine are all effective treatment options. However, augmentation of the RLS symptoms is a major limitation of oral dopaminergic therapy. Recently, gabapentinoid agents such as gabapentin enacarbil and pregabalin have shown comparable short-term efficacy to dopaminergics with lower risk of augmentation of the RLS symptoms. Recent evidence on the efficacy of oxycodone-naloxone in treatment-resistant RLS provides an additional therapeutic avenue. The increasing understanding of the role of iron in RLS pathophysiology has led to new options in iron supplementation therapy in RLS, including treatment with ferric carboxymaltose.
With emerging evidence of augmentation being a side effect specific to dopaminergic treatment, gabapentinoids are considered a safer option as initial treatment. In severe refractory RLS, oxycodone-naloxone can be used. If iron stores are low, IV iron formulations should be the initial treatment choice. New treatment options are needed to address issues with current therapies.
KeywordsRestless legs syndrome Treatment Dopamine agonist Gabapentinoid Opioid REM sleep behavior disorder
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Aaro V. Salminen declares no potential conflict of interest. Juliane Winkelmann has received speaker honoraria from Bayer and UCB, as well as research grants from Else Kröner Foundation and German Research Foundation (DFG). Juliane Winkelmann also has a patent filed related to Thalidomide in RLS pending.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
References and Recommended Reading
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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