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Causes & Types of
Restless Legs Syndrome

Causes of Restless Legs Syndrome

Causes of Restless Legs Syndrome

Unpleasant sensations from Restless Legs Syndrome (Willis-Ekbom disease) can occur while sitting still or during sleep, causing an irresistible urge to move. It can be difficult to get comfortable, and sometimes a person with RLS can experience involuntary twitching or jerking.

While studies have shown that RLS has been associated with changes in the dopamine system as well as iron levels, there is no known cause. However, it is important to note that more than half of people with RLS have a family history of the condition.

There are two categories of RLS based on cause:

  • Primary or idiopathic means that the cause of RLS is unknown, that there is no disease-related cause. Symptoms may begin anytime in a person's life but become more common with age. About 70% of people with RLS have primary RLS.
  • Secondary RLS affects about 30% of people with RLS and means there's an association with other conditions, including:
  • Iron deficiency
  • Pregnancy
  • End-stage renal disease (ESRD)

NEUPRO® (rotigotine transdermal system) is a prescription medicine used to treat moderate-to-severe primary Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). NEUPRO has not been studied in secondary RLS.

RLS is more commonly found in smokers and people who don't exercise regularly (less than three hours a month). Talk to your doctor if you have any of these conditions and you think you may have RLS.

Is RLS affecting your life?

Some people have to live their lives around their RLS symptoms. Do you?

Restless Legs Syndrome – mild and moderate-to-severe

For some, RLS can be mildly annoying, but for others it can have a much greater impact.

Mild means RLS occurs occasionally (less than 2 nights a week).

Moderate-to-severe means RLS has a negative impact on people's lives. They suffer either every day or at least twice a week. People with moderate-to-severe RLS generally get less than five hours of sleep a night. In addition to nighttime symptoms, there may be daytime symptoms too. Daily treatment may be necessary for these people.

If you're affected by moderate-to-severe primary RLS, NEUPRO may be able to help.

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One or more of my family members has RLS.
I think I might have moderate-to-severe primary RLS.
My RLS symptoms occur two or more times a week.
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NEUPRO is a prescription medicine used to treat moderate-to-severe primary Restless Legs Syndrome.


NEUPRO contains a sulfite called sodium metabisulfite. Sulfites can cause severe allergic reactions that are life threatening to some people who are sensitive to sulfites. People with asthma are more sensitive to sulfites. Remove the patch right away and call your doctor if you have swelling of the lips or tongue, chest pain, or trouble breathing or swallowing.

NEUPRO may make you fall asleep suddenly or without warning while doing normal activities, such as driving, which may result in accidents. Tell your doctor right away if this happens. Drinking alcohol or taking other medicines that cause drowsiness may increase your chances of becoming sleepy while using NEUPRO. Do not drive, use hazardous machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how NEUPRO affects you.

NEUPRO can cause decreases in blood pressure, especially when you start or increase your dose. Increases in blood pressure and heart rate, and fainting, also can occur. If you faint or feel dizzy, nauseated, or sweaty when you stand up from sitting or lying down, tell your doctor.

Some patients using NEUPRO get urges to behave in a way that is unusual for them, such as unusual urges to gamble, strong urges to spend money, binge eating, or increased sexual urges and behaviors. If you or your family notices you are developing any unusual behaviors, talk to your doctor.

NEUPRO may cause Restless Legs Syndrome symptoms to come back (rebound), become worse, or start earlier in the day.

Skin reactions may occur at the site where you apply NEUPRO. Tell your doctor if you get a rash, redness, swelling, or itching that will not go away.

Avoid exposing the NEUPRO patch you are wearing to heating pads, electric blankets, heat lamps, saunas, hot tubs, heated water beds, and direct sunlight. Too much medicine could be absorbed into your body. Also, do not wear NEUPRO during medical procedures called magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or cardioversion because this could cause skin burns.

Tell your doctor if you have breathing problems, a sleep disorder, mental problems, high or low blood pressure, or heart problems; are pregnant or plan to become pregnant; or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. NEUPRO may not be right for you.

The most common side effects in people taking NEUPRO for Restless Legs Syndrome are application site reactions, nausea, difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, sleepiness, and headache.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects to UCB, Inc. at UCBCares™ (1-844-599-2273).

Please see additional Patient Information about the NEUPRO Patch. This information does not take the place of talking with your healthcare provider about your condition or your treatment.