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Restless Leg Syndrome Message Board
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:45 AM   #1
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Please help! Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and Antidepressants (SSRI's, MAO-I)

Has anyone developed RLS after treatment with SSRI's (Prozac, Paxil, Lexapro) or MAO-I's, or developed RLS after being on an antidepressant for a few years?? More importantly, have you found any antidepressants that didn't cause RLS?? I've seen evidence on this board that RLS can develop as a side effect, but the published literature is lacking.

I recently had my dose of Lexapro increased and noticed a tremendous increase in RLS symptoms. I've been on Lexapro for several years and beleive this may be the cause of the RLS but my psychiatrist (who is very good) has not reported this side effect. He prescibed me lyrica to help with the RLS but that did nothing. I would rather try a different antidepressant than go on requip or mirapex.

 
Old 09-17-2009, 11:39 AM   #2
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Re: Please help! Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and Antidepressants (SSRI's, MAO-I)

I have RLS due to stroke, and also take Lexapro, but I do not believe the two to be connected. I manage my RLS with requip 1.5 mg. Have you had a sleep study done? I recommend one, to accurately diagnose the level of RLS you have, so it can be treated properly.

 
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:58 AM   #3
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Re: Please help! Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and Antidepressants (SSRI's, MAO-I)

I have not had a sleep study done, but will speak to my doc about it during the next appt.. thanks.

My concern with the requip is threefold: I'm only 28, development of dyskinesia, and tolerance. How long have you been on Requip? Have you noticed side effects, or have you had to increase your dosage?

 
Old 12-01-2009, 06:39 PM   #4
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Re: Please help! Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and Antidepressants (SSRI's, MAO-I)

Hi,
I developed PLMD (periodic limb movement disorder) in recent years, which was demonstrated in a sleep study. I feel it as I am going to sleep or if I am "daydreaming" and half asleep, basicially legs, arms, or neck/head can jerk around. Unlike RLS, I do not feel anything in the limb/elsewhere beforehand. I have been on Lexapro for some years, and other antidepressants before then, to control panic disorder, and I suspect that the lexapro somehow is affecting dopamine receptors (although it affects serotonin, other neurotransmitters can get secondarily affected when one neurotransmitter class is affected), thus causing the plmd. Rarely, if my sleep is really bad or I am feeling unusually anxious I will take a low dose of clonazepam, which also seems to resolve/reduce the plmd symptoms, according to my wife. So I do suspect that you are on to something, there may be a link between long term SSRI use and limb movement disorders for some people. The movements do not particularly bother me, even though they might be affecting my sleep. I chose not to take another medication like requip to specifically control them--don't want to mess around with any more neurotransmitters than I absolutely have to. I just take the minimum amount of Lexapro I can get away with (a bit less than 10 mg most nights) and live with the plmd.

 
Old 01-21-2010, 03:57 PM   #5
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Re: Please help! Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and Antidepressants (SSRI's, MAO-I)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjs009 View Post
Has anyone developed RLS after treatment with SSRI's (Prozac, Paxil, Lexapro) or MAO-I's, or developed RLS after being on an antidepressant for a few years?? More importantly, have you found any antidepressants that didn't cause RLS?? I've seen evidence on this board that RLS can develop as a side effect, but the published literature is lacking.

I recently had my dose of Lexapro increased and noticed a tremendous increase in RLS symptoms. I've been on Lexapro for several years and beleive this may be the cause of the RLS but my psychiatrist (who is very good) has not reported this side effect. He prescibed me lyrica to help with the RLS but that did nothing. I would rather try a different antidepressant than go on requip or mirapex.
I weaned myself off of Paxil CR this fall and I too developed RLS and also wondered if it was from the withdrawl. I am now back on the Paxil Cr and the RLS has went away. Mine actually was going all the way up to my arms at time. It is now totally gone since i've started back on the ssri. This was the only negative side effect I had when I weaned myself off. Pretty suspicious!!!

 
Old 01-21-2010, 08:31 PM   #6
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Re: Please help! Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and Antidepressants (SSRI's, MAO-I)

Antidepressants are problematic for a lot of people prone to RLS. At present, I take 10 mg of Celexa, and at that small dose, the RLS is tolerable. But at higher doses, it gets intolerable. There is a lot of documentation on RLS and antidepressants, as well as many other medications associated with RLS. It's too bad so few doctors are up on this.

 
Old 02-06-2010, 03:54 AM   #7
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Re: Please help! Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and Antidepressants (SSRI's, MAO-I)

I'ts good to know I am not alone. Everytime I would tell a Dr. about my jerking he would look at me like I was crazy. I also wondered if it stemed from my meds. I also have PPS so I thought it might be from my polio. Like you it hits me when I am trying to go to sleep and sometimes when I am asleep. It seems like the more I relax the worse it is. It's really messing with my sleep. The RLS meds helped the jumping but not the pain. I'm going for a sleep study Mon. I sure hope they can find something to do for me that works. I really don't want to be on pain meds.

 
Old 02-08-2010, 03:55 PM   #8
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Re: Please help! Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and Antidepressants (SSRI's, MAO-I)

Get back to the basics. Have your Magnesium level checked to assure this is normal. Deficient Mg can cause many of your symptoms. Ask your doctor to have this test ordered. If you know your Magnesium is normal, then you can move on from there to other causes.

 
Old 02-09-2010, 09:42 AM   #9
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Re: Please help! Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and Antidepressants (SSRI's, MAO-I)

like I said, I had it when I was totally off Paxil Cr, after being on it for a solid year and a half. I had slowly weaned myself off and was totally off of it for a couple of months. now that I am back on it, the rls has went away, but I am back on the paxil. Mine just tickled, I was fortunate not to have the pain I have heard so many talk about. good luck, and keep searching for answers. I think there is a lot to be learned about this.

 
Old 02-23-2010, 11:27 AM   #10
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Re: Please help! Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and Antidepressants (SSRI's, MAO-I)

I've had restless legs for as long as I can remember and for the last few years I've been taking Clonazepam for it. About a year ago I was having a bad time and the doctor gave me prozac. It made the RLS so much worse and even coming off it didn't really improve it. It's like I'm stuck at this level now and I've had to up my Clonazepam to the stage that it just knocks me out like I'm taking a sleeping tablet.

 
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