Hi everyone. Some background: last year I had both ankles fused and have had to learn to walk again. During the process my restless legs got worse and I started on Pramipexole. Slept brilliantly but didn’t like the side affects - massive tiredness in the legs. Soon became alarmed when I read about Pramipexole and want to come off. I have just done 5 days on one and a half tablets at night. I can sleep well on this.
I would really appreciate any advice on moving forward from this point. Many thanks to you all. ( By the way I have been on Pramipexole for about five months at two tablets each night. I am eating well and taking vitamins).
To come off pramipexole, reduce by .125 mg every 2 weeks or so. You will have increased symptoms. You may need to reduce more slowly or with a smaller amount. Wait until the increased symptoms from each reduction has settled before going to the next one. You will suffer and may need a low dose opioid temporarily to help out with the symptoms especially as you near the end. But in the long run, you will be glad you came off it. Dopamine agonists like pramipexole are no longer the first line treatment for RLS. Gabapentin or pregabalin is. (Pregabalin is more expensive than gabapentin in the US.) The beginning dose is usually 300 mg gabapentin (75 mg pregabalin). Start it 3 weeks before you are off pramipexole although it won't be fully effective until you are off it for several weeks. After that increase it by 100 mg (25 mg pregabalin) every couple of days until you find the dose that works for you. Take it 1-2 hours before bedtime. If you need more than 600 mg take the extra 4 hours before bedtime as it is not as well absorbed above 600 mg. If you need more than 1200 mg, take the extra 6 hours before bedtime. (You don't need to split the doses with pregabalin) Most of the side effects of gabapentin or pregabalin will disappear after a few weeks and the few that don't will usually lessen. Those that remain are usually worth it for the elimination of the RLS symptoms. If you take magnesium take it at least 3 hours before or after taking gabapentin or pregabalin as it will interfere with the absorption of them. According to the Mayo Clinic Updated Algorithm on RLS: "Most RLS patients require 1200 to 1800 mg of gabapentin (200 to 300 mg pregabalin) daily." If you haven't had your ferritin checked, ask your doctor for a full iron panel. Stop taking any iron supplements 48 hours before the test and fast after midnight. Have your test in the morning. When you get the results, ask for your ferritin and transferrin saturation (TSAT) numbers. If your ferritin is less than 100 or your transferrin saturation is less than 20 ask for an iron infusion to quickly bring it up as this will help your withdrawal. Otherwise post here and we can tell you what you need to do. Check out the Mayo Clinic Updated Algorithm on RLS which will tell you everything you want to know including about its treatment and refer your doctor to it if needed as many doctors do not know much about RLS or are not uptodate on it as yours obviously isn't or s/he would never have prescribed a dopamine agonist at Https://mayoclinicproceedings.org/a... .