Evidence Based Guidelines For Long-Term Management Of Restless Legs Syndrome / Willis-Ekbom Disease Expands Choices For Initial Treatment

Jul 22, 2013, 11:27 ET from International RLS Study Group Foundation

ROCHESTER, Minn., July 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Restless Legs Syndrome or Willis-Ekbom disease (RLS/WED) is a chronic neurological disorder that can affect anyone—from any age, sex, or race. People with RLS/WED experience strong urges to move their legs often with strange disagreeable leg sensations.  This gets worse when at rest, like when going to sleep at night, watching television or taking a long car ride. Because the symptoms usually intensify in the evening, they often interfere with the ability to sleep.  Moderate to severe RLS patients cannot sleep for more than 5 to 5.5 hours each night and often rather than sleeping end up having to walk around to reduce the feelings in their legs.

Managing Long-Term Treatment

While there is currently no cure for (RLS/WED), there is effective treatment. The International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group Foundation (IRLSSG) has published a report of long-term management of RLS/WED using evidence-based guidelines and clinical consensus.  The report discusses consensus-based strategies for the prevention and treatment of complications, such as augmentation, loss of efficacy, excessive daytime sleepiness, and impulse control disorders that may develop within long-term pharmacologic treatment of RLS/WED. 

IRLSSG president Dr. Diego Garcia-Borreguero states, "After 2 years of reviewing 61 peer journals and discussion among international experts, our report provides light on two important questions patients of RLS/WED have been asking for years.  What is the efficacy of my treatment?  And, what is the safety of this treatment?  Our report, published in Sleep Medicine's July 2013 issue, provides the first comprehensive review of long-term treatment options for RLS/WED patients." 

One major finding of the report is recommended expansion of first line treatment of RLS/WED for most patients.  The use of either a dopamine-receptor agonist or alpha 2 delta calcium-channel ligand is recommended as the first-line treatment on an individual basis considering long term treatment complications.

For more information on treatment guidelines—and a full copy of the IRLSSG's report titled "The long-term treatment of restless legs syndrome/Willis–Ekbom disease: evidence-based guidelines and clinical consensus best practice guidance: a report from the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group" paper— visit www.irlssg.org.

SOURCE International RLS Study Group Foundation