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Pergolide reduced involuntary periodic leg movements and improved sleep in the restless legs syndrome

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 QUESTION: In patients with idiopathic restless legs syndrome (RLS), is pergolide effective for improving symptoms and sleep?


12-week randomised (allocation concealed*


Outpatient clinic for movement and sleep disorders in Germany.


Patients were 28–70 years of age and had an irresistible urge to move that was related to sensory symptoms of the lower limbs; motor restlessness; worsening of symptoms at rest with some relief found through activity; increased symptom severity in the evening or at night; abnormal periodic leg movement (PLM) index; sleep-onset latency >25 minutes or sleep efficiency <85%; and normal values for serum chemistry and urinalysis. Exclusion criteria were secondary RLS, other primary sleep disorders, history of substance abuse, pregnancy, lactation, hypersensitivity to ergot derivatives, current antihistamine use, serious medical conditions, or current diagnosis or history of malignant melanoma. 30 patients were enrolled, and 28 (93%, mean age 57 y, 57% women) were …

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  • Source of funding: Lilly Deutschland GmbH. Drugs provided by Eli Lilly and Company.

  • For correspondence: Dr T C Wetter, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Kraepelinstrasse 10, D-80804 Munich, Germany. FAX +49-89-30622-550.

  • * See glossary.), double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial.