Ropinirole for long airplane flights? - Restless Legs Syn...

Restless Legs Syndrome
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Ropinirole for long airplane flights?


My daughter, aged 44, also suffers from restless leg syndrome. She manages her condition without medication. However, she finds long flights miserable and her primary care physician has scripted her ropinirole and suggests starting a couple of weeks before the next long flight. I am questioning staying on ropinirole for several weeks and then weaning off after the flights.

I remember the withdrawal after stopping a dopamine agonist as "h..." I am wondering if ropinirole can be taken on a short time basis, only on the days of her flights? Anyone have experience with using a dopamine agonist med short term for flights, movies, etc? Thanks for your help.

15 Replies

Once off use of a long acting opiate ,such as oxycontin 5, would be the obvious solution. Except for the hysterical attitude towards any mention of opioids in medical prescription.

If you could get your hands on just a few tablets( to include return journey) that would be the most stress free option.

That particular pill would last for between 8and12 hrs. And give guaranteed relief, without any side effects , or addiction issues.

I agree completely with your own analysis. It seems utterly counterintuitive to do what is being suggested.

While we're at it, as a species, why don't we remove ALL harmful objects in our lives, get into our final boxes, and close the lids, Quietly.🙊😆

There is no need at all to start the ropinirole weeks before. Just the - early - evening of the flight, or an nour or two nefoee rhe flight will do. Ropinirole acts within 1,5-2,5hrs and is cleared out of the system well within 24hr. No need “to build level” ropinirole. Any pharmacist can explain. Ropinirole is thus perfectly usable on an “as needed” basis. Confirmed by Dr Buchfuhrer, but contrary to common belief. Not all knowledge that goes around is correct 😒.

Let her try the lowest dose (0,25mg).

Have been prescribed Ropinirole for a long time, back in 2011 there was some form of shortage Doc prescribed Pramipexole WoW! hallucinations and complete befuddlement.

Thankfully Ropinirole supply came back and a relief , both from the RLS and the hallucinations. Recently tried the CBD oil and sing it praises, relief and more importantly SLEEP. Not cheap (yet) but best thing since sliced bread. Not sure of long haul flights or journeys as with no ability to get up and start walking around, airline crew frown on it thinking you are a terrorist or something, cars require frequent stops, restaurants you get under the feet of staff. But yes the CBD oil works a treat.

What type and strength CBD oil do use find helpful? With it without THC?

in reply to cedesigns749

Which type of CBD oil? Does it have any THC in it? (while I live in a legal MJ state in the US, I fly a lot by plane and will be doing an international 12 hour flight soon, so no THC to bring with me)

in reply to CoMtWo

It is legal in UK as it is THC free, so should be legal in most countries now.

in reply to cedesigns749

Have you found any specific type of CBD oil helpful for sleep, given RLS issues? I take 0.5 mg pramipexole and 200 mg of gabapentin daily before bed - but they sure don't help for long airplane flights (we're heading to Egypt on a 12 hour flight from NYC and then back). Any guidance would be helpful.....

I wouldn't take it as an as-needed basis

in reply to rsears57

The more you start and stop these medicines the more side effects you're going to get

I can only say it is NOT a recreational thing, the cost dictates that it is as needed, the effects are very quick, faster than Ropinirole. And definitely beats taking 12 - 16 Ibuprofen each day, reduced to a need to do of 2-4 per day and the benifit of sleeping EVERY night.

On each opportunity to declare the benefits to various medical and a reaction of 'Oh! self prescribed' that, being delivered from the end of a very elevated nose. I welcome the news that Home Secretary Javid is to pass legislation to A, make it legal and recognised, B, to place it on the NHS supplied prescriptions. Once again. Best thing since sliced bread.

Have to admit that to date, the missing of a daily Ropinirole soon becomes evident. so at this point weaning is not an option. One day, maybe.

I am considering the possibility, with huge element of doubt, of taking a nine hour flight next year; this after returning from Spain last week with a full- on 2 1/2 hour Restless Leg experience.

Currently, I take 1500mg gabapentin, 0.50 ropinirole and 5mg/2.5 mg targinact. I avoid alcohol and do a fair amount of walking. I avoid concerts, cinema etc, even with legs in the aisle.

When I was first prescribed Ropinerole I did think, ‘ this is the answer’! However, after about three months everything seemed to go ‘in reverse’ , and I am now in the process of withdrawing from the drug, which has been slow and miserable, especially as I was once raking 4mgs, yes, a high dose I now know!

So in response to the question, yes it may bring the relief you need in the short term but you may well pay the price in the long term.

I have had RLS for 35 years, and what started as a condition moderately annoying has now developed into a debilitating condition that controls the way I live my life!


Yes, this is my worry for my daughter, that once she goes on dopamine agonist meds full time, the rls in general will be worse when she tries to wean off meds. However, she is getting ready to take a 16 plus flight to Singapore for work, which would challenge anyone's restless leg problems.

Thanks to everyone who commented.

in reply to whiteleye

The worry may be real and well based, bit doesn’t need to be when she heeds a few rules. Take it only as needed. If that turns out daily, then stay as low as possible, maybe even half a tablet of 0,25mg will do. In any case, don’t go higher than 1mg, but lower is better. If the ropinirol ceases to be effective (tolerance) and surely when symptoms start earlier and/or spread to other nody parts, don’t increaese the dose. Rather, decrease and add in a low dose of another (type of) medicine, an alpha2delta ligand (gabapentin or pregabalin) or an opioid (tramadol or slow release oxycodon). For most people, dopamine agonists like ropinirole give the best and longest relief. Although it didn’t for me 😒. Bit, maybe also because I heeded the above ‘rules’ my withdrawal after augmentation was not difficult. Tramadol helped at the time.

Snowdrop, your symptoms sound very difficult. You may find that they improve when you finally eliminate the ropinerole. I really hope so.

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