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J Clin Pharm Ther. 2009 Oct;34(5):493-505. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2710.2009.01025.x.

Critical review of ropinirole and pramipexole - putative dopamine D(3)-receptor selective agonists - for the treatment of RLS.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Temple University School of Pharmacy, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Ropinirole hydrochloride (REQUIP, ADARTREL) and pramipexole dihydrochloride (MIRAPEX, SIFROL) are two putative dopamine D(3) receptor subtype-selective agonists recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of 'restless legs syndrome' (RLS). RLS is a difficult to define condition that is possibly more prevalent than previously thought. Direct-to-consumer advertising has raised public and professional awareness of RLS, but questions, even skepticism about the very existence of the condition, persist. The drugs have adverse effects that can negatively impact on quality of life and thus, as true for all drugs, require consideration of the benefit : risk ratio. We review the definition, diagnostic criteria, pathophysiology, and treatment of RLS, and assess the clinical and preclinical evidence for a pharmacologic rationale for D(3) agonism in general and of the claimed D(3) selectivity of ropinirole and pramipexole in particular.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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