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Pregnancy and RLS

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 4:21 am
by ViewsAskew
I went through some of the past threads looking for pregnancy info. Here are some web pages that deal specifically with pregnancy and RLS:

Info from the Foundation on pregnancy and RLS:

Info from the So Cal Support Group:

General information on pregnancy and risks associated with meds:

Info from We Move on pregnancy and meds and RLS:

These are posts that come from several sections of the board.
These are general information, including tips, discussions, meds, etc. ... =pregnancy


These posts were specifically related to meds and pregnancy: ... =pregnancy

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:59 pm
by ViewsAskew
A reply from Dr Buchfurer to someone who wants to get pregnant:

"There are two RLS medications which are safe (category B) for use in pregnancy. They are methadone and Dostinex. Most RLS specialists should know how to use these drugs but it is likely that most other doctors will not feel comfortable prescribing them."

This is from, patient letters, page 61. I'd have to guess that some of the RLS specialists wouldn't know how to use them, however. A person would probably need to ask the prospective specialist his or her views before ageeing to be treated. For example, one neuro I saw, who writes about RLS and gives lectures, says he doesn't believe in prescibing methadone. I doubt he'd give it, yet he is an expert.


Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 9:48 pm
by ksxroads
RLShelp patient letter Dr. B reply April 30, 2006

The two drugs of choice for pregnant RLS patients are the narcotics methadone and oxycodone (low dose). Both are available generically so should be covered and not too expensive. My preference is methadone as it has been used a lot (in much higher doses) for pregnant heroin addicts and seems to be reasonably safe.

If one of these narcotics does not completely resolve your RLS symptoms (which is very unlikely as they really work great to relieve RLS symptoms) then you can add Ambien (which is not yet generic so may not be covered as well) to help you sleep.

All the above drugs are pregnancy category B drugs which are considered reasonably safe for pregnancy.

Study links low folic acid to WED/RLS during pregnancy

Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:58 am
by badnights
A recent study published by Northwestern Universi, IL links WED/RLS during pregnancy to low folic acid in the pregnant woman's blood. It has not been shown if low folic acid causes WED, if WED causes low folic acid, or if both WED and low folic acid arise from some other cause.

Title is Serum folic acid level and its relationship to gestational willis ekbom disease (Restless legs syndrome): A Pilot study


OBJECTIVE: To determine the association between folic acid levels and restless legs syndrome (RLS) in pregnancy (gestational RLS [gRLS]).

STUDY DESIGN: We checked folic acid levels during scheduled clinic visits at 24-28 weeks of gestation. We conducted a brief clinical interview to determine who met the International RLS Study Group (IRLSSG) criteria for gRLS. Those with moderate or severe RLS (IRLSSG severity scale of >10) and with symptoms occurring >3 days a week were included in the +gRLS group. The rest were included in the-gRLS (comparison) group.

RESULTS: We demonstrated a significant difference (p<0.05) in mean folic acid levels in women who were in the +gRLS group vs. those in the -gRLS (control) group: 27.3±12.9 ng/mL (median, 25 ng/mL) vs. 32.2±20.6 ng/mL (median, 28 ng/mL), respectively (p<0.03 on two-sample independent t test).

CONCLUSION: Folic acid levels can be easily and inexpensively checked or supplemental folic acid can be given to women with moderate to severe gRLS. In the future we hope to build on this work with a larger comprehensive trial looking at other biomarkers and their association with folic acid levels and gRLS.

Re: Pregnancy and RLS

Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:21 pm
by legsbestill
I took folic acid religiously through my pregnancies but I was still afflicted with rls in each. It resolved once the baby was born in each pregnancy except the last and I am still suffering from that after 15 years. I sometimes wonder if it was because I became very ill with double pneumonia, a collapsed lung and pleurisy which lasted for several months during the pregnancy. Perhaps I failed also to look after my iron levels.

Re: Pregnancy and RLS

Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:49 pm
by badnights
legsbe, most likely it was none of those. It's fairly common for the WED to stick after multiple pregnancies.

Funny I dont recall being bothered by it any more than usual (mild) when I was pregnant.

If it was as easy as giving folic acid... ha