RLS and medication for Rheumatoid Arthritis

I have had RLS for about 45 years (I am now 65 ) and Rheumatoid Arthritis for 5 years. I recently started new medication for RA - Leflunomide - and within a few days I noticed my RLS getting worse. I only suffer with my legs at night as soon as I go to bed and have been fairly well controlled with a Pramipexole tablet in the evening but since starting the new medication for RA the Pramipexole has not helped. After several nights of getting very little sleep I decided to take 2 Pramipexole tablets instead of one and thank goodness it worked and I got a decent sleep at last.

Has anyone else had this experience with this RA medication?

3 Replies

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  • I would venture a guess and say about 85% of the world can take that drug and not have symptoms of RLS. You my dear have a predisposition to the symptoms of RLS as you know. Studies show that we with this predisposition have shoddy dopamine receptors in a certain region of our brain (nigerstol striatum?). What that means is that the dopamine in this part of our brain (which we allegedly have an adequate supply of) is not being transported very well to our central nervous system. Little or no dopamine to the central nervous system means little or no dopamine to our peripheral nervous system and thus our legs and arms and even our body can't relax because it is dopamine that relaxes them! The following article indicates that the drug you're on affects dopamine. I also read that the drug you're on might impair the absorption of iron from the gut. Very bad for restless legs. You want iron getting to your brain every night...uninterrupted.

    harvest.cals.ncsu.edu/appli...

  • Thank you so much Tcho for your reply and the link you gave me. Very interesting. Not sure though what do at the moment. I think it's a choice between trying another RA drug or increasing Pramipexole. I will see my GP and talk it over and also ask for my iron levels to be tested.

  • WHAT I ALWAYS DO..TAKE TWO TRAMODOLS,2MG ZANEX.KNOCKS ME OUT..BEEN FIGHTING WITH THIS FOR 18 YEARS..HAVE NO STRENGTH TO STAND THE DISCOMFORT ANYMORE..GONNA BE TAKING THE TRAMODOL AND ZANEX,AT NIGHT ONLY,FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.I'VE TRYED EVERYTHING..SUFFERED LONG ENOUGH..I THINK IT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH MY BI-POLAR SYNDROME...I WAS HOOKED IN OXYCODONE,,,GOT RID OF THAT POISON..NOW I TAKE TRAMODOL,ONLY WHEN I HAVE TOO...I HAVE INSOMNIA REAL BAD..HIGH BLD. PRESSURE..HAVE TO KEEP IT DOWN, I GO 3 TO 4 NIGHTS,WITH NO SLEEP. EVERY 4 TH DAY,I TAKE A 2MG ZANEX..THAT'S THE ONLY REM SLEEP I GET....RESTLESS LEG IS TERRIBLE. 3 DIFFERENT BP MEDS,DON'T WORK,BUT THE ZANEX DOES...I'D LIKE TO MEDICATE WITH MEDICAL MARIJUANA,IT WORKS THE BEST..DON'T HAVE TO TAKE ANY PILLS AT ALL..IT'S NOT LEGAL HERE SO I'M STUCK WITH THE POISON,TILL IT'S LEGAL...THEN I'M THROWING THE PILLS IN THE TRASH,AND DOING NOTHING BUT THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA..

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