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CNS Drugs

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 149–159 | Cite as

Use of α2δ Ligands for Restless Legs Syndrome/Willis Ekbom Disease

  • Michele A. Faulkner
Review Article
  • 126 Downloads

Abstract

Restless legs syndrome is a common neurological condition affecting a substantial portion of the population. It can be an idiopathic disorder, or one that is secondary to another cause. Given that the underlying pathophysiology of restless legs syndrome is not well understood, several drug classes have been studied for symptom control. While dopamine agonists have long been the mainstay of first-line treatment for restless legs syndrome, recently, the α2δ ligands have been increasingly used. These agents have proven both efficacious and safe in a number of clinical trials. Additionally, compared with the dopamine agonists, they have been associated with less augmentation, a phenomenon whereby symptoms emerge earlier in the day, become more severe, and may spread to areas of the body previously unaffected. Newer clinical guidelines for restless legs syndrome are increasingly recommending the α2δ ligands as a logical first-choice medication for patients needing drug therapy for symptom control.

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Funding

No funding was received for the preparation of this article.

Conflict of interest

Michele A. Faulkner has no conflicts of interest directly relevant to the content of this article.

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Schools of Pharmacy and MedicineCreighton UniversityOmahaUSA

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