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What Is Restless
Legs Syndrome?

A neurological disorder

A neurological disorder

Restless Legs Syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes people to experience strange and uncomfortable sensations in their legs and arms. RLS can feel like creeping or crawling under the skin, and can be quite painful, causing an irresistible urge to move. These sensations generally arise while lying down or sitting, tend to get worse in the evening and at night, and keep people from resting and relaxing and may even affect sleep.

RLS is more common than you may think

If you think you're the only one suffering from RLS, think again. RLS is one of the most common neurological disorders in North America, affecting up to 23 million American adults. It is estimated that a third have moderate-to-severe RLS. More women than men get RLS, and the likelihood of getting the condition increases with age. Actually RLS has been around for a long time. Also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, it was first described as early as the 17th century by Thomas Willis. In the 1940s, a neurologist named Karl-Axel Ekbom led the first clinical studies, recognizing the negative effects of RLS on sleep and daytime activities.

Symptoms can occur day or night

The main symptoms of RLS—a powerful urge to move and pain or discomfort deep in the legs—can occur at any time of rest, and they can get even worse at night, interfering with sleep. The urge to move can interfere with daily activities and concentration too, since it can be difficult to sit still. One study found that 41% of patients have symptoms every day. It's important to note that for some people RLS is mildly annoying and symptoms don't occur regularly. But for others, RLS can be a life-altering condition that deserves medical attention.

View some videos that feature Dr. Becker, a sleep expert, and see what he has to say on several RLS related topics.

RLS expert Philip M. Becker, MD, talks about this common neurological disorder

Dr. Becker is the Medical Director of the Sleep Medicine Associates of Texas.
Dr. Becker is a paid consultant of UCB, Inc., manufacturer of
NEUPRO® (rotigotine transdermal system).

Diagnosing RLS

There are four key points doctors use to diagnose RLS. They can be described using the word URGE.

Urge to move the legs—sometimes accompanied by uncomfortable sensations deep in the legs that may be described as tingling, creeping, crawling, itching, or burning.

Rest induced—the urge to move gets worse during inactivity such as resting, sitting, or lying down.

Gets better with activity—movement such as walking or stretching brings relief, but unpleasant sensations reappear when you stop.

Evening and night—the urge to move increases in the evening or at night or occurs only in the evening or at night.

If this sounds familiar, you might have RLS. And you're not alone. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms.

Is RLS affecting your life?

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

Prepare for Your Next Doctor's Appointment

Build a list of key points to discuss with your doctor by selecting items from the list below. Click the "Items to ask my doctor" icon at the top of the screen to view, edit, and print your list at any time.

RLS symptoms are bothering me in the evening.
I have RLS symptoms during the day.
I have a powerful Urge to move my legs.
The urge gets worse when I'm Resting, sitting, or lying down.
The urge Gets better with activity, like walking.
The urge gets worse in the Evening and at night.
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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.