Restless Legs Syndrome

how's this for depressing?

me: "so i was wondering, since 100 mg of tramadol was working, but gave me sleep apnea, is there maybe another pain med i could take at a lower dosage? something as effective as tramadol, but low enough not to cause sleep apnea?"

nurse: "when i mentioned pain meds to the doctor, he cringed. he really doesn't like prescribing them."

uh, what?! what kind of rls expert cringes at that? any decent rls expert should know the opiods/opiates are a valuable club in the bag. this sadly confirms my suspicion that my doctor is *not* an rls expert. and there goes my last hope of finding real relief. oh well. i shouldn't complain. at least i can get through the night.

4 Replies

OOKLA.. Opiods didn't work out for me.

I took more than prescribed when the prescribed

amount didn't work anymore for me. It took me

about 4-5 months to become immune to the dose. = //

I sure feel bad that you're suffering. I would encourage

the use of them a couple times a week if you can control

yourself in taking them exactly as prescribed.

My husband used to hide the drugs on me and then I had

to ask for them.. but I found his hiding spot. (several times)

so he just quit with offering me help to control myself.

Maybe you are a lot stronger than I am. RLS bothers me

a lot. Probably more than the average person. I get it

8 hours of every day/ night. It makes me nuts.


HI, ookla, I have been on opiates for pain and RLS for over a decade and have never had to up the dose, except during surgeries. We are definitely all different, but if the synthetic opiate Tramadol is depressing your breathing and making your apnea worse, then I am sad to say that I can see why your doctor is reluctant to give you anything else that would be stronger and would make the apnea even worse, causing more of a lack of oxygen. IF you have respiratory problems, they will fight tooth and nail not to give you opiates, as he is treating more than one condition for you and has to look at the big picture. I understand you being upset, but that is one reason why he is "cringing" and also probably just does not like to prescribe opiates. And, guidelines say that opiates and apnea do not mix. Have you had a sleep study and gotten an official diagnosis of sleep apnea, and if so, how is it being treated?


I had a sleep study done because I was suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness, falling asleep any time I sat down for more than five minutes (including driving). I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, but during the consult, the doctor found out I was taking 100 mg of tramadol. Instead of treating the sleep apena, he suggested I stop taking the tramadol first and see what happens. So I stopped taking it and the excessive daytime sleepiness and sleep attacks went away. I've considered going back on tramadol and getting treatment for the accompanying sleep apnea... but in the meantime, I've decided to stop going to that doctor (the sleep study doctor took over treatment of my rls) and go back to my gp, who originally diagnosed me with rls (he's the one who prescribed the tramadol in the first place). The sleep study doctor was supposed to call in a preauthorization to my insurance company so I could give lyrica a try, but that was on July 3 and he still hasn't responded yet. The lack of response combined with the "cringing" was the last straw for me.


I certainly do not blame you. No matter if you have apnea or not, it is better to get your legs settled down, as long as it is mild apnea. Good move to go back o the original doctor that diagnosed you first! ;)


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