Rls nightmare

I didn't develop rls until after taking zoloft for my anxiety and depression. Hit me like a ton of bricks! I switched over to lexapro but I swear it's gotten worse. I wake up between 430 and 5 EVERY morning with tenseness in my arms and legs. I'm going through alot right now...anxiety and depression, premenopause, nerves compression in my legs...im a mess...now this rls. Dr prescribed mirapex but im scared to death to take it...ive read the side effects and that is SCARY! !! I don't know what to do! One dr thinks it's my anxiety waking me up....I hate meds..I have a med phobia. I feel like with all I'm dealing with im gonna lose my mind!!

24 Replies

  • Hi sorry you have so much going on at the moment.Yes those antidepressants are SSRI type so will make RLS worse for many of us.Also as you have discovered it can actually trigger RLS .2 antidepressants that don't normally make RLS worse are Wellbutrim and Trazadone.Wellnutrin is not available in the UK.I take Mirtazapine and find it is better for my RLS than the SSRI I was on before.Do you have any painkillers prescribe for your nerve compression? If you are not happy taking the Mirapex hoe about trying painkillers instead or one of the anticonvulsant meds such as Pregablin or Gabapentin.

  • I was on lexapro before with gabapentin, gained 45 pounds. Dr thinks it was the gabapentin that made me gain all that weight. Weird thing, I never got rls first time around with the Lexapro. This round the zoloft caused it. No pain killers, i take klonopin at bed but I don't understand what is causing me to wake up with tense arms and legs every morning...would think the klonopin would help.

  • Hi...one thing I`ll point out is that klonopin is a benzodiazepine class drug...ie,valium/diazepam etc,klonopin was previously known as clonazepam...highly addictive and terrible to withdraw from...lots of doctors prescribe with the best intentions but know little of what they are giving out...don`t mean to be negative but pointing it out in case you didn`t know...I`m not even presribed anything yet for my RLS but will be extremely choosy when my doctor does prescribe...for example,Tramadol is a regularly prescribed opiod drug for RLS that has far greater side effects than other simpler opiods that seem,from what I have read and heard other describe,to work in controlling RLS...it may be the fact that they are merely masking the symptoms but that is what all the drugs do as opposed to resolving the problems...I myself am prescribed buprenorphine (not for RLS) which is opiod and noticed how a certain dose will stop the RLS...but I am now reducing and so experience bad RLS...but for some odd reason,doctors won`t prescribe this for RLS...but they do dish out such things as Tramadol which is addictive and nasty to get free from and causes nasty side effects...I`m no expert but do have some knowledge of various drugs etc and I have yet to climb upon the RLS drug merry-go-round...good luck with the sleeping.

  • Miaperson,you may like to do some reading up about Targinact if you are in the UK as it was licensed for RLS earlier this year,

  • Hi pippins2...thanks...I will take a look.

  • It will have been the Gabapentin that caused the weight gain - I went up 14lb in 1 month!

    Since you are in pain with the never compression you should be able to get opioids prescribed and they can be quite good at treating the RLS - (although I am taking the max dose of Tapentadol and it does nothing for RLS :( ).

    Tramadol works well just don't abuse it by taking more than the prescribed dose - it gets unsafe at very high (above max prescribing dose) levels.

    The Mirapexin is a very dodgy drug in my book - you are very right to be cautious. Knowing what to look for start small and use as little as you can. Rotigotine is a safe better tolerated alternative if you are going down the road of a dopamine agonist.

    There are also the herbal side of things - if you live where you can get it Cannabis can be quite good, (depending on the strain) and Kratom also is very good with no serious side effects like many prescription drugs.

    This site has great info on drug treatments:


    Good luck

  • Hi Pippins, do you find remeron better for rls than any ssri or even if you won't take ssri, remeron would help?

  • Hi conditioncritical,I find Remeron better for my RLS than the SSRI I was taking (Paroxetine/Paxil).It has a different "chemical makeup" so it should not aggravate RLS as badly as any SSRI but of course there are always exceptons! I think you are also asking if Remeron would actually help RLS? If so the answer is no it is not a treatment .Hope that helps .....Pipps

  • Remeron/mirtazapine is in a class all by itself. It takes care of my PTSD and panic attacks, and no worsened RLS ever. Been on it for 5 years now. rxlist.com

  • thanks, i asked as i weaning off of zoloft now and I maybe need a sleep aid. From what I understand from Pippins & your reply, remeron is rls natural. atm I use ambien and at the past seroquel & some light benzos. Any antihistamine (including seroquel) and even trazodone gives me a terrible rls feeling for the past 9-10 months (of the 15 months) that I am on zoloft.

  • not sure what you mean by "rls natural" in reference to Remeron?

  • There is a connection between brain chemistry and RLS, but just what it is has not been clearly established. If a drug addict attempts to get clean they almost always develop RLS. That is because taking any Phycotrophic drug, affects all the Neuro Transmitter production and the sense of well being from taking any anti depressant shuts down or supresses the neuro transmitters production. And Some times cuts it off forever, even if it is going to return sometime it doesn't help when we are walking the floor at 2 AM. Most doctors haven't read anything about the production of these peptides and have simply listened to a salesman who makes his living getting doctors to prescribe his drug. The ''first do no harm'' is simply a slogan.

    I am not a health professional and have no power to recommend anything, but do have RLS and have read profusely on the subject and sometimes understand what we have all done to ourselves and it ain't pretty.

  • Without my Mirtazapine, I also would be still suffering from agoraphobic panic disorder and could never leave the house. Everyone's brain chemistry is different. My doctor did not get the idea from a drug salesman, trust me. I could not leave the house for 2 yrs ,. plus have PTSD and had panic attacks, which are all gone now. used to have daily attacks, so they do come in handy for lots of people, just stick to the ones that are not SSRI's or tricyclics, they make RLS worse 99.9% of the time. people who take dopamine meds have withdrawal like cocaine addicts, but they are not "addicted" to the dopamine meds.

  • I was not saying every doctor gets all their information from drug salesmen. My brother was a drug salesman and he knew much more about the drugs he sold than the doctor who prescribed them to patients. His company held regular seminars to inform doctors about the latest in antibiotics, but unless the class was held in London or Paris, attendance was low.

    There are no RLS drugs that were developed exclusively for that. The drugs were developed for Parkinson's and accidentally discovered to help us. The drug companies then got the FDA to approve them fro RLS.

    Drug salesmen and women provide a very useful service.


  • What do you take to help your rls? I have to be on ssri due to my anxiety and depression. Now I have this rls and it's increased my anxiety and depression. Feels hopeless

  • It seems that every one of us who Has RLS has other companion diseases. I have fibromylgia, migrane syndrome, bypolar disorder, thyroid disorder, RLS and treating one seems to make the other worse. I stopped welbutrin a few yrs ago and when the depression strikes I suffer greatly.

    I take a list of drugs and don't sleep a lot.

    I take ropinirole, gabapentin, advil, synthroid, and vicodin and still sleep very little. I am not recommending anything I take to anyone else. Each one has to work out a regime with their doctor.

  • If I may ask,how did you get the diagnosis for bipolar?

  • In 1975, before the name had been put on the illness i went to mayo Clinic in MN for a hip and general pain. They gave me the most thorough going over including mental testing. They concluded that I had a deformed hip and that I had what they called at the time, cyclical Manic Depression. I kept going there and still go to the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix AZ. They changed the diagnosis to the modern diagnosis called Bi Polar disorder. Most of us with RLS have multiple illnesses, all Neuro transmitter related.

    There are literally an unknown number of peptides produced by our DNA that we need to function properly. With a Mutation every 100,000 births, some serious and some not serious, we are bound to have some that are neurotransmitter related. We then pass the good and the bad along to our descendants.

  • Every RLS sufferer has gone thru what you are just now. Hang tough and find a doc who has some other satisfied patients and work with them.

    My own case was 15 yrs ago when I confided in a doctor friend that I was at the end of my rope and couldn't take it any more. She went to work and found a temporary solution. All solutions are temporary and will evolve as things develop. Temporary long enough is ok because we are temporary and won't need anything in a few years for me and somewhat longer for the others.

    Work with a good doctor. I am in The U.S. and can change doctors at will and get a solution if my current doctor fails.

  • SSRI's are poison to 99% of all people with RLS.

  • I didn't have rls until I started zoloft. Now I have rls. Sux

  • I take a low dose of Zoloft with no problem. Must be one of the 1%. On the other hand, my RLS was practically non-existent until some brilliant...right....sleep doc decided I should be on Mirapex. Horrible side effects, plus when I got off of it THEN the RLS hit with a vengeance. I wish I'd never had a sleep study (which btw, showed no real sleep apnea and they decided RLS because I'd wiggle my toes when awakening...old habit). I certainly wish I'd never taken Mirapex. Personally, I think while everyone's chemistry is different, there are also some areas of the brain that are definitely going to be impacted by different experiences and different drugs. I think finding what works is largely a matter of trial and error.

  • Painkillers. Yes. They would never prescribe them to me for every day use, but when I had my wisdom tooth pulled I completely forgot I had rls for ten days. They gave me vicodin and it was a miracle.

  • Mine started as I suddenly withdrew from citalopram. I went through three weeks of torment, followed by months of all types of body achest and discomfort. I am trying to use vitamins and healthy eating to manage this RLS, with some success. But other times the RLS just comes back to haunt me. I am afraid of taking anything but NSAIDs, aspirin, vitamins, and fiber supplements. I might have a hernia, which may have something to do with the heavy legs feeling, and the burning feeling, but I haven't seen a doctor about this complaint, yet.

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