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Requip Treats 'Restless Legs'

Compelling urge to move legs, often during sleep

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

THURSDAY, May 5, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- GlaxoSmithKline's treatment for moderate-to-severe restless legs syndrome was approved Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The neurological condition is characterized by an uncontrollable urge to move the legs, and by uncomfortable and sometimes painful sensations described as tingling, pulling or tightening. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, the company said in a statement announcing the approval of Requip (ropinirole HCl).

About 1 in 10 American adults, mostly women, has the disorder. It often causes difficulty falling and staying asleep, Glaxo said.

The exact cause of restless legs syndrome (RLS) isn't known. Requip stimulates receptors that produce the brain chemical dopamine, which carries signals between nerve cells that control body movement, the company said.

Requip is the first-approved drug for RLS. It was originally approved as a treatment for Parkinson's disease in 1997.

To learn more about RLS, visit the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.


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