Ropinirole belongs to a class of drugs known as dopamine agonists and is used alone or in combination with other medications to alleviate the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD). These symptoms may include tremors, rigidity, slowed movements, and problems with balance.
Ropinirole is also utilized to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS), also known as Ekbom syndrome, which causes leg discomfort and an irresistible urge to move the legs, particularly at night or when sitting or lying down. Ropinirole functions by replacing dopamine, a naturally occurring substance in the brain that is critical for controlling movement.
Uses and Dosage
If you are taking ropinirole for Parkinson’s disease, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Typically, you should take this medication by mouth, with or without food, three times a day. Taking it with food can alleviate nausea. To minimize the risk of side effects such as drowsiness and low blood pressure, your doctor may initially prescribe a low dose and gradually increase it.
For restless legs syndrome (RLS), take this medication by mouth once a day, usually 1 to 3 hours before bedtime. Use it regularly at the same time(s) each day to obtain the maximum benefit. Do not exceed the prescribed dose or take it more frequently than directed.
If you discontinue this medication for several days, you may need to gradually increase your dosage back to the previous level. Discuss with your doctor the proper way to resume taking it.
Never discontinue taking this medication without first consulting your doctor. Abruptly stopping it may worsen your condition or cause withdrawal symptoms such as confusion, fever, anxiety, depression, or muscle stiffness. To reduce the risk of withdrawal, your doctor may decrease your dose gradually, particularly if you have been taking ropinirole for an extended period or at high doses. Notify your doctor or pharmacist immediately if you experience any withdrawal symptoms.
If you are taking ropinirole for RLS, inform your doctor if your symptoms worsen in the morning or occur earlier in the evening or late afternoon. Your treatment may need to be altered accordingly.
Your dosage will be determined by your medical history and how well you respond to treatment. It may take several weeks for ropinirole to become effective.
If your symptoms do not improve or worsen, inform your doctor.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- stomach pain
- heartburn or gas
- decrease in appetite
- weight loss
- sweating or flushing
- difficulty remembering or concentrating
- uncontrolled, sudden body movements
- shaking of a part of your body that you cannot control
- decreased sensitivity (response) to touch
- frequent or urgent need to urinate
- difficulty urinating or pain when urinating
- in men, difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection
- back, muscle, or joint pain
- pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
- swelling of the hands, arms, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- dry mouth
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- feeling unusually suspicious of others
- aggressive or unfriendly behavior
- having strange thoughts or beliefs that have no basis in reality
- chest pain
- slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat
- swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat
- shortness of breath
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
- double vision or other changes in vision
Inform your doctor or pharmacist of any allergies you may have before taking ropinirole, as it may contain inactive ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction or other complications.
Prior to using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, particularly if you have heart problems (including irregular heartbeat), mental or mood disorders, walking difficulties, kidney or liver issues, high or low blood pressure, or sleep disorders.
This medication may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Avoid operating machinery, driving, or performing activities that require alertness until you can do so safely. Limit your alcohol intake, and discuss your use of cannabis with your doctor.
Elderly individuals may be more susceptible to the adverse effects of this medication, particularly mental or mood changes (such as hallucinations), nausea, and vomiting.
If you are pregnant, use this medication only when the benefits outweigh the risks. Discuss the potential risks and advantages with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Form and Strength
Requip is available in the following forms and strengths:
Can you take Requip long term?
Requip was highly effective and well tolerated in the long-term management of RLS.
What are the benefits from taking Requip?
It can improve your ability to move and decrease shakiness (tremor), stiffness, slowed movement, and unsteadiness.