What pharmacological or non pharmacological interventions are beneficial in managing restless leg syndrome?
Plain language summary
The research evidence presented suggests that dopamine
medications are recommended as effective pharmacological treatments
for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). However larger scale studies need
to be conducted to establish which dopamine antagonist may be most
effective. Further studies also need to be done comparing
effectiveness and harms of other commonly used treatments, and with
adults specifically within a mental health services population.
Clinical and research implications
There is evidence to suggest that the use of dopamine agonists
can be recommended for the treatment of restless leg syndrome
(RLS). This recommendation is based on three well-conducted
systematic reviews (SR) that evaluated a number of good quality
trials comparing dopamine agonists with placebo. No definite
implications, however, can be made regarding which dopamine agonist
may be most effective, given the lack of large scale head-to-head
trials. The evidence was in the general population and not specific
to people with mental health conditions.
For further research, the SR authors stated that; more trials
evaluating iron and opioid therapy are needed; and more research
into the comparative effectiveness and harms of other commonly used
treatments, particularly those without FDA approval is also
needed. The SR of pramipexole recommended that studies with
longer-term follow-up and comparing pramipexole with other dopamine
agonists, anticonvulsants and levodopa are needed. The SR of iron
therapy recommended that more research is needed into the effects
of iron therapy, particularly the best route of delivery, in people
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