Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Factors potentiating the risk of mirtazapine-associated restless legs syndrome.

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a very annoying condition. I know, because I get it when I'm under stress. It strikes when I'm relaxing; my legs begin to move on their own as if I am a puppet and they are attached to strings.

Restless legs is officially classified as a sleep disorder. Those involuntary movements interfere with restful sleep. You can see the vicious cycle that can get started, as poor sleep can make a day more stressful, which can exacerbate restless legs, etc., etc.

So this article about risk factors for restless legs syndrome caught my eye on a recent cruise through the National Library of Medicine database.

In 181 records reviewed over a 3 1/2 year period, in individuals taking the antidepressant mirtazapine (Remeron), eight percent reported having RLS, tending to start within a few days of beginning mirtazapine therapy. This trend seemed to be more frequent if, in addition to mirtazapine, the individual was using tramadol and/or dopamine-blocking agents.

Be sure to let your physician know if you've noticed this syndrome developing. There are alternatives, pharmacological and non pharmacological, that won't steal your sleep in the name of making you feel better.

Kim SW, Shin IS, Kim JM, Park KH, Youn T, Yoon JS. Factors potentiating the risk of mirtazapine-associated restless legs syndrome. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2008 Oct;23(7):615-20.


Gianna said...

seroquel caused restless leg syndrome for me...horrible...

haven't had a problem since I discontinued it.

Lynn Marie said...

This is me! I started mirtazapine 1 week ago to treat insomnia and depression. I also tapered the prozac 20mg a day to 10mg evry day x7 days then zero. I was a complete zombie the first 3 days and nights, arousable but never woke up. Then on the 4th day I woke up from the stupor and have the opposite effect in that I find it impossible to sleep after I take the 15mg mirtazapine tab in the evening. I developed terrible RLS to boot. I fall asleep around sunrise and sleep for about 3-5 hours at best. Wondering what I should do now? Doctor hasn't returned my call from yesterday yet. I also just recovered from terrible side effects from taking Tramodol for a shoulder injury. The Tramadol really messed up my brain chemistry. Geeish.... I sure am having troubles.