Clonidine is a Godsend helping me go ... - Restless Legs Syn...

Restless Legs Syndrome

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Clonidine is a Godsend helping me go Cold Turkey thru last stage get off Ropinerole


As some of you who have guided me brilliantly through my final stage of titrating from 12 mg Ropinerole Extended Release down to 2 mg regular Ropinerole, especially Joolsg, Elisse, Nightdancer, Mags, and others, I made a decision after meeting with my GP Friday to go Cold Turkey and just get off this God awful medication.

When I switched from 2 mg ER to regular Ropinerole a month ago, my body started screaming for it. I started experiencing withdrawal augmentation two or three times a night. Everything I read about this final phase of getting off Ropinerole by continuing to slowly titrate down by .5 mgs a months could take at least 3 months or more depending on how long it took my body to stabilize at each reduction level. That was simply unacceptable. My life had become so unpredictable. I couldn't make plans for fear I might not sleep the night before. Fortunately I am retired.

Given that and the agony of these flare ups, I asked my GP if there was a medication that would help me through this cold turkey stage to ease withdrawal symptoms as is used for drug addicts. Yes, Clonidine!

She started me with 0.01 mgs once a day--lowest posssible dose. I took my first dose at 4:30 PM and that day & night (Friday) was a breeze--no augmentation, not a twinge.

Yesterday started out great, I felt hopeful for the first time in years that I might get free of this horrible Ropinerole. I took my first dose yesterday at 3:00 PM, since I started to get some twinges in my right leg. Maybe I took it too late in the day after being off Ropinerole nearly 24 hours. I laid down for a nap, and in half an hour I had a full body augmentation withdrawal episode that hit like a ton of bricks in my solar plexus. Figuring maybe the Clonidine hadn't fully been absorbed, I walked around then had a yogurt-- I read on line tha yogurt kept someone's RLS at bay. 20 minutes later, all symptoms vanished. Don't know if it was the Clonidine or the yogurt--most likely Clonidine. Last night however, I was okay until 9 PM when right leg started twitching again. I took my regular dose of Gabapentin 600 mg. and 100 mg Tramadol, no change. Then iron Bisglycinate w/ok at 11:30 PM still no improvement. I ended up unable to sleep until it subsided at 4:00 AM.

I asked my GP if I could increase my Clonidine dose to twice a day. Yes she said. So I will keep you all posted on how today & tomorrow go.

I am still cautiously optomistic that the Clonidine is helping me discontinue Ropinerole altogether. I feel like my withdrawal symptoms would be far worse without it. Now that I am 48 hours free of Ropinerole, I'm hoping that I'll only have a few more days to get through. If this spared me from the 3 to 4 days of pure no sleep torture some folks onl this sight went through, I am grateful.

15 Replies

I have not heard of clonidine but if it's working to get you through withdrawal then that is brilliant. So pleased that you are nearly over the worst bit. I'm keeping fingers, toes and jumpy legs crossed that you get some sleep over the next few nights. Then the gaba and tramadol should kick in to settle down your RLS. You may even find that you can manage on just iron bisglycinate .

Thinking of you,

Take care


Bganim1947 in reply to Joolsg

Thank you jools. I don't think I could have gotten this far without your guidance.

Keep you posted of course. What are you taking now?

Joolsg in reply to Bganim1947

I'm on 10 mg of OxyContin at 8 am & 8 pm. 100mg of pregabalin at 8.30pm and 50mg at midnight. I have added 5mg of OxyContin at 2 am after asking Dr Buchfuhrer for advice on getting more than one hours sleep at a time. I also take 40mg iron bisglycinate patch every other night.

This combination is giving me 4- 5 hrs sleep between midnight & 6am. I then go back to sleep at 8 and manage another 3 hrs. As I'm retired I can do this but know others aren't so lucky.

Gabapentin and codeine worked for about 4-5 months after I can off ropinirole but then stopped working. I was terrified to start on OxyContin and I was one of the unlucky few who develop panic attacks as a side effect. The pregabalin stopped panic attacks, helped reduce RLS and helped me sleep.

I hate taking drugs but I think I'm now a convert. Needs must....

Hopefully you'll find a combination of low dose drugs that will calm down your RLS and let you sleep.

You will get there soon


Clonidine and Diazepem are the two medications I have always advised for the last stages of withdrawal.

Glad you are finding the Clonidine so effective. Avoid taking many meds along with high fat foods. I'm assuming your yoghurt is low fat!!!😨


Bganim1947 in reply to Madlegs1

Thank you! When I mentioned people on this site who helped me, I said Mags was one of them--I meant you but couldn't remember your online name, sorry! Anyway, high fat foods and Clonidine? Do you know why? I don't eat a lot of that.

Madlegs1 in reply to Bganim1947

Not sure about clonidine- but certainly inhibits absorption of opiates.

So probably similar for may stomach absorbed meds!


Gmc54 in reply to Madlegs1

I had no idea about that. You learn something new every day! Thank you 🙂

I have clonidine twice a day but for help with terrible hot flushes. It has helped them though I feel the cold even more...

Thank you for this information. My husband is trying to go cold turkey off of last 3 mg of requip. This gives us hope! Hang in there.

Clonidine is a med used for controlling high blood pressure. Or did u mean clonazapam also known as Klonopin, one of the benzos long used for RLS.

Bganim1947 in reply to Bajatom

Yes also used for drug withdrawal--it is helping me get off last 2 mgs of Ropinerole thank God!!!

This is great news Bganim, I hope it continues to work and you manage to kick the ropinerole. You are likely to feel so much better when you finally get that stuff out of your system. And now you are well on your way. Well done!

I take 8 mg ropinerole daily. What is wrong with it?

The Long term positive effects of Ropinerole can last from one to five years After that you will most likely begin to experience augmentation.

Go back and read my posts from January on, and you will see what happened to me and others who also went through it.

I'd like to email Dr. B (can't remember how to spell his last name, Bruchauer??) regarding his perspective on what medication to take after I complete my cold turkey withdrawal from Ropinerole if iron Bisglycinate, Gabapentin and tramadol doesn't do it for me? I'll also be happy to accept any other people's thoughts. I do not want to go o another dopamine agonist.

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