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Home > Wellness > Health Library > Anticonvulsants for Restless Legs Syndrome
Anticonvulsants are used to help control
or prevent abnormal increases in brain electrical activity. They are primarily
used for people who have seizures. They may help suppress electrical activity
in the brain that causes
restless legs syndrome symptoms.
Anticonvulsants may help people with
restless legs syndrome. They are sometimes used when symptoms are severe and can
be used in combination with other drugs.
While anticonvulsants help relieve
symptoms in some people, they have no effect on others.
Drowsiness, dizziness, tremors, blurred
vision, nausea, and poor coordination have all been reported as occasional side
effects when these medicines were used as treatment for other conditions.
Research is needed to discover whether side effects are different when these
drugs are used to treat restless legs syndrome.
The U.S. Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on anticonvulsants and the risk
of suicide and suicidal thoughts. The FDA does not recommend that people stop
using these medicines. Instead, people who take anticonvulsant medicine should
be watched closely for
warning signs of suicide. People who take
anticonvulsant medicine and who are worried about this side effect should talk
to a doctor.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects.
(Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
Anticonvulsants may increase the
chance of birth defects. If you are pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant,
talk to your doctor before taking these medicines.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
March 10, 2011
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology
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