I have suffered from RLS for some twenty years many of which there were no drugs that would help or indeed a GP who took any interest in the condition. Over those years the only relief that I could get was to have a hot water bottle on my legs when I retired to bed. The condition grew more severe in the past six years and with the help, for the first time, from a new GP I was referred to a consultant. Ropinerole was at that time new to sufferers of RLS, however it was that medication that the consultant agreed to prescribe. I took 0.5 mg increasing to 2 mg per day twice a day which did relieve the condition. When I say relieved the condition there were still times when RLS kicked in (as always in the evening and in either left or right leg). It was some twelve months after my first visit that I had to return to the consultant as the condition was once again getting worse. I was again advised that I should increase the dosage to a maximum of 10 mg per day which I did, but there were times when the dosage of six mg at night - when the RLS was severe, resulted in me hallucinating and falling to sleep very suddenly and for very short time. The hallucinations were frightening! My sleep pattern was terrible with possibly a maximum of four hours per night. Some three weeks ago I returned to see my GP as my condition was very severe and it was obvious that the Ripinerole was not working as it had at the start of the treatment.
I had read about Gabapentin and the fact that it can help with RLS in some cases and discussed this with my my GP. It was agreed that rather than revisit the consultant I should take the Gababentin - 300 mg three times a day and see if that helped my condition.
Having been on the new medicine for three weeks I have to report that my RLS appears now - thank God - to be under control. I am sleeping well and the terrible problem of legs that prior to the new drug, would twitch uncontrollably for hours on end, are now much better.
The Gabapentin for the first week gave me bad nightmares and certainly would send me to sleep very suddenly (as did the ropinerole)_but once my body became used to the drug this problem abated.
I should say that I have had blood tests which my GP ordered and which I am awaiting the results of when I see my GP tomorrow - 6 March 2013.
Over the years I have found that it does help to take the mind off the RLS if I was occupy my mind with an interest that focused my mind. I took up painting and photography which I would turn to even in the very early hours of the morning when RLS was about to send me insane.
This is the first blog that I have ever written in the hope that other sufferers of RLS will find the article of interest.