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Sleep. 1992 Oct;15(5):391-5.

The treatment of the restless leg syndrome with or without periodic leg movements in sleep.

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  • 1Centre d'Etude du Sommeil, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur, Montréal, Québec.


There are presently three main treatments for restless leg syndrome-periodic leg movements in sleep (RLS-PLMS). The benzodiazepines (especially clonazepam) are considered by most clinicians to be the treatment of choice in mild cases, especially in young subjects. In our experience, however, L-dopa and bromocriptine are more effective treatments, although no controlled studies have ever been conducted to compare their therapeutic benefits and the side effects of benzodiazepines and dopaminergic drugs. The use of opioids should be restricted to patients who have severe symptoms and who fail to respond to benzodiazepines or L-dopa. Propoxyphene was found less effective than L-dopa in decreasing PLMS, but some patients resistant to L-dopa may exhibit a masked therapeutic response to opioids. However, there is currently no method to predict the response to any treatment modality.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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