A randomized controlled study of pergolide in patients with restless legs syndrome.

Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany.
Neurology (Impact Factor: 8.3). 04/1999; 52(5):944-50. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.52.5.944
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Open clinical trials indicate that low doses of pergolide, a long-acting D1 and D2 dopamine agonist, lead to a reduction in the symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS) with subjective improvement in sleep quality.
To assess the therapeutic efficacy of pergolide in improving sleep and subjective measures of well-being in patients with idiopathic RLS using polysomnography and clinical ratings.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover design we enrolled 30 patients with idiopathic RLS according to the criteria of the International RLS Study Group. All patients were free of psychoactive drugs for at least 2 weeks before the study. Patients were monitored using polysomnography, clinical ratings, and sleep diaries at baseline and at the end of a 4-week pergolide or placebo treatment period. The initial dosage of 0.05 mg pergolide was increased to the best subjective improvement paralleled by 20 mg domperidone tid.
At a mean dosage of 0.51 mg pergolide as a single daily dose 2 hours before bedtime, there were fewer periodic leg movements per hour of time in bed (5.7 versus 54.9, p < 0.0001), and total sleep time was significantly longer (373 versus 261 minutes, p < 0.0001). Ratings of subjective sleep quality, quality of life, and severity of RLS were improved significantly without relevant adverse events.
Pergolide given as a single low-to-medium bedtime dose in combination with domperidone provides a well-tolerated and effective treatment of sensorimotor symptoms and sleep disturbances in patients with primary RLS.

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