Advice for travelling: Hi all, I'm new... - Restless Legs Syn...

Restless Legs Syndrome
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Advice for travelling


Hi all,

I'm new here :) I'm a 35YO F, had RLS since I was about 15. Used to be able to manage it until I went travelling and spent a year in Asia (hot and humid) and it sent me up the wall - so much that I nearly went home (UK) to get some kind of medicinal help.

Since then I have moved to Melbourne and was first put on Sifrol, but then transferred to Gabapentin (I'm now on 600-900mg each night). I've reduced it to 600mg for several reasons; I'm sick of being sleepy in the AM (though this is obvs better than the RLS), I'm going travelling again later this year and I'm concerned about taking large quantities of pills with me across borders (approx 100 pills per month), and the availability of the drug/willingness of pharmacies to give it to me in all these countries (central & south america, middle east, india & sri lanka, and parts of SEAsia). However I am concerned if I come off it I will have the terrible time I had before. The other issue with not being able to get the Gabapentin when overseas is that if I don't take them now I cannot sleep at all, so if it's not RLS it's insomnia!

Reducing to 600mg has been ok some nights, but not on others. I'm also on 20gm per night of Amitriptyline, which I have seen on here in the last day or so is actually something that makes RLS worse! I'm on this for pain, but I will ask the doc about transferring to a different drug.

I have also tried the Restific foot wraps but I find I have to have them so tight that they make my feet pulse and that wakes me up, then the RLS does later in the night after I've pull the Restifics off.

Has anyone travelled extensively and had/not had issues with taking the drug with them? Does anyone have experience of getting the drug/other drugs overseas when they don't have a current prescription? My doctor will give me one & a letter but I plan to travel for 12-18 months so it obviously won't stay current for long.

Thanks in advance everyone!


11 Replies

Oh I also meant to say - I got my first dental crown around the time my ROLS started, and my dentist had to drill through it a couple of weeks ago and said the metal part incredibly thick. I have also been reading a lot about the possible danger of mercury in dental fillings. Has anyone had them removed and had relief? I'm wondering if it's all linked...

in reply to Georgina3333

RLS originates in the brain and has nothing to do with dental fillings. The 'stress' of the treatment may have increased your sensitivity to the symptoms. Furthermore, there should not be any mercury in your fillings, they stopped using that many years ago; but I don't know about your country, I am in NL.

In sum, sounds like mostly coincidence.

And do het rid of the amitriptyline and make sure it doesn't get replaced by another harmful med. Check treatment page or for meds to avoid.

in reply to Georgina3333

I had approx 8 amalgam fillings from approx 35 years ago (and they contained mercury). I had them gradually removed three years ago using the safest procedure available. When i was tested for heavy metals there was a very high level of mercury in my body. (I can't recall whether that was before or after amalgam removal). Mercury does settle in the brain and other organs. I'm not sure you can expect immediate results just from having the fillings removed. You'd also need to do mercury detox/chelation under medical supervision. I haven't gone down that path but plan to.

I should add, I didn't experience any relief from RLS/PLMD as a result of the amalgam removal.

I can only say that you need to stop the amitriptyline.

It depends what sort of pain you have, bur for neuropathic pain, including nerve pain, fibromyalgia, shingles etc, gabapentin may be better.

Otherwise unless you take the gabapentin with you, or get someone to send it to you wherever you are, you will have to rely on non-pharmacological remedies which might also involve taking stuff with you, or, it not really working.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will see Heatherrls' post from yesterday.

She lives in New Delhi. Click on her name so that you get through to the message service, and ask her what she thinks. She may have some information.

First of all, get off the amitiptyline! As you already know it is known to make RLS worse. There are many other things you can take for pain.

Hi Georgina

I travel extensively and yes it is terrifying. I live in Brisbane and of course we r always travelling through Dubai etc where it is the death penalty’s.

My doctors now put my medication in my husbands name because he has no fear . My doctor is in the USA I take buprenorphine which is an opioid I bring home 12 months worth at a time and I use the tiniest amount

So a years worth is about 5 bottles .

I had a trip book to Bali and I phoned the embassy in Bali to ask what I could do to bring my medications in that was when I was in panadiene forte and they said even with the appropriate scripts , Dr letters etc it depends on the officer on the day as to whether I get locked up - I cancelled my ticket - my sisters did not understand but I was not taking the risk .

My doctor told me not to take opiods into Japan because they lock you up no court just straight to jail .

My husband carried it when we went skiing last year .

I myself really like to choose my countries carefully my husband just does not care .

Also my legs or full body RLS so bad I

could not survive without meds .

Do you have anyone who could mail your medications to you in different countries.

Me myself I would be very choosy with what countries I was going to .

If you go to countries like Amsterdam where marijuana is legal it works really well for RLS especially in edible form .

Truly wishing you all the best 🙂

Health stores carry magnesium gel. I use at night to suppliment Medication. (Early morning jerks) rub on feet to knees

Oh you're about to visit India ? How nice ! Not the best of the time to do that right now though with the ongoing protests and everything. But that would likely resolve in the coming days.

I don't know about the rest of Asia but in India, you're most likely not going to have any issues with the pharmacy for Gabapentin or even Tramadol. I'm not sure about the other opiods because I haven't had them yet. But Tramadol and other medications can be easily bought over the counter no questions asked.

On a plus side, if you do have a prescription then its even easier.

Ive been overseas many a times with my medication -but I always get a confirmation letter from my GP confirming the medication I am on, with my prescription as extra evidence which a part from once, both countries' immigrations were ok

I remember a while ago when I went overseas I cant remember where -I thnk it was in America -but unsure it was so long ago when I got to immigration & they saw my medication & asked if had written evidence of me taking it, & to the shock of the immigration officer I showed my doctor's note & prescription & I had to wait while they phoned my doctor to get it confirmed I was on them -thankfully it wasnt a long wait

Yes, a letter which should include your daily dose and therefore how much you will need for the length of your trip and a copy of your prescriptions. Also, consider compression socks.

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