Ropinirole

Ropinirole

Ropinirole is a treatment for Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). The active ingredient is ropinirole hydrochloride which is a dopamine agonist.

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PLEASE NOTE: This treatment is not available through our online pharmacy service. This page is for information only. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to the condition(s) this medication treats, we strongly recommend that you see your GP in person.
Description

Ropinirole tablets are prescribed to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS). Made by numerous pharmaceutical manufacturers including Actavis, they contain the active ingredient ropinirole hydrochloride which is a dopamine agonist. A course of Ropinirole tends to start off as a low dose which gradually builds to what is known as a maintenance dose.

  1. Eases restless legs symptoms
  2. Available in a number of strengths
  3. Reliable generic medication

Restless legs syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a condition affecting the nervous system. It results in an uncontrollable urge to move the legs, often triggered by an unpleasant sensation felt in the area. The symptoms can range from mild to severe and occur intermittently for some people or every day in others. The condition can develop in anyone, regardless of age, but is more frequently seen in women. Doctors do not fully understand the reasons behind RLS developing, although genes may play a part as the condition can run in families. RLS can occur as a secondary condition or symptom caused by certain conditions and medications such as diabetes, iron deficiency, anti nausea medicine and antidepressants. Severe cases which are left untreated can have a serious impact on a person’s well being and lead to cases of insomnia, anxiety and depression.

When restless legs symptoms flare up you can try to combat them by taking a hot bath, massaging the area, applying a hot or cold compress, going for a walk, stretching the muscles or distracting yourself with another activity. Mild restless legs cases might be suitably addressed through lifestyle changes, such as giving up smoking if you are a smoker. You might also look to introduce regular exercise, avoid stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol (especially later on in the day) and adopt a regular sleeping pattern.

Currently there is no cure for restless legs syndrome, however, there are treatments available for those who are struggling to cope with their symptoms. Ropinirole is one such medication which falls into the groups of medicines known as dopamine agonists. It works by increasing the production of dopamine in the brain which is often lacking in people with RLS. As dopamine levels are restored RLS symptoms abate. A course is usually commenced for a three month period, at which stage your doctor will decide whether treatment should continue or be altered.

Please note that we do not provide this treatment through our site.

If you are not currently taking medication for restless legs and are experiencing symptoms, you should see your GP in person.

Page last reviewed:  Friday, Jul 14 2017
Directions

Directions

You should only use this medication as outlined by your doctor. This will enable the drug to work at its best and limit the chances of side effects.

  1. Take as directed. 
  2. The dosage given to each person may vary. A course may start initially on a low dose which is gradually increased under the supervision of your doctor. 
  3. Swallow the tablet whole with water. Do not chew it. You do not have to take the medication with food but doing so may reduce the likelihood of nausea. 
  4. Try to take the medicine at the same time of day each time that you take it. This is normally within the three hours before you go to bed. 
  5. If you miss one dose, skip it and simply take the next dose at the normal time. 
  6. If you forget to take several doses, speak to your doctor before recommencing treatment. 
  7. You should not stop Ropinirole treatment without first consulting your doctor.

For detailed instructions, please read the patient information leaflet enclosed with your medication.

Download PDF

Page last reviewed:  Friday, Jul 14 2017
Side effects & Warnings

Side effects

You may experience side effects when using this medicine. Your doctor will assess whether the potential benefits of this product outweigh the potential negative side effects. If you notice any symptoms that indicate an allergic reaction, contact your doctor right away.

Very common (1 in 10 people or more):

Vomiting or nausea.

Common (1 in 10 people or less):

Drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, stomach ache or nervousness.

Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):

Low blood pressure, confusion or hallucinations.

Very rare (1 in 10000 people or less):

Hepatic reactions or suddenly falling asleep.

Frequency unknown:

Dopamine dysregulation syndrome (DDS), allergic reactions, delirium, delusions, paranoia or the inability to resist carrying something out that has the potential to harm you or others such as gambling, excessive shopping and binge eating.

The information listed here is only intended to serve as a guide. You can find complete details in the patient guide enclosed with your medication.

Taking it with other medicines

It is important to disclose the details of any medications, herbal remedies or supplements you are currently taking or have recently taken. If Ropinirole is used in conjunction with the following medicines there is a chance that it can alter their efficacy: ciprofloxacin, enoxacin, fluvoxamine, theophylline, hormone replacement therapy, anti-psychotics or high blood pressure treatments.

Conditions to look out for

You will need to speak to the doctor or pharmacist if you currently have or have had in the past any of the following conditions: liver disease; kidney disease; mental health problems; heart problems or unusual compulsive behaviour.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

This medication is not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding. If this applies to you, or if you are trying to conceive, speak to your doctor before taking Ropinirole.

Driving and using machinery

Side effects of Ropinirole include drowsiness. If you are affected, do not drive or operate machines and see your doctor for advice.

Food, drink and alcohol

It is usually better to take this medicine with food.

Do not drink alcohol while using Ropinirole.

Lactose intolerance

These tablets contain lactose. Let your prescriber know if you are intolerant to any sugars.

Page last reviewed:  Friday, Jul 14 2017
Please read the ‘what you need to know’ section in the patient information leaflet for , , , , fully before use.
Q&A

Can I still drink alcohol?

No. You must not drink alcohol when taking Ropinirole.

Will I still be able to drive?

This medicine should not interrupt your regular activities. However, it can cause extreme and sudden sleepiness in some people. If this occurs you should avoid driving and operating machinery.

Can I take the medicine while pregnant?

You should speak to your doctor before commencing treatment if you are pregnant, hoping to conceive or are breastfeeding.

How should I store it?

Keep it well away from children and make sure that the temperature does not exceed 25°C.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

Ropinirole tablets contain the following: ropinirole hydrochloride, lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinised starch, magnesium stearate, opadry II 85F18378 (polyvinyl alcohol, titanium dioxide (E171), macrogol 3350, Talc), iron oxide yellow (E172), brilliant blue aluminium lake (E133), iron oxide black (E172), iron oxide red (E172).

Do not use this product if you have an allergy to any ingredients that are found in it.

Is it available over-the-counter?

No. You will need a prescription before you can purchase this item. 

Is it right for me?

Speak to your doctor to find out. They will be able to assess your symptoms, and refer you for testing where required, before discussing treatment options with you.

Please note we do not offer this treatment through our site.

Page last reviewed:  Friday, Jul 14 2017
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