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Restless legs
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Restless legs

Does anyone have what's known as "restless legs" at night.  I'm on Peg-Intron/Riba and every night I wake up with not so much pain in my lower legs, but just feeling like I need to constantly move them.  I flip and flop around like a fish out of water for hours and then finally get back to sleep.  I called my GI and he said to call my primary and get some medication specifically made for "restless legs", but I was just wondering if anyone has this problem?
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Avatar_m_tn
I have that. I assume it is the ribavarin. I usually take an anti-histamine (Chlortrimaton) that I've used for years as a sleep aid. Since I usually wake up at 3 AM with this condition the anti-histamine will put me to sleep for 4 hours without making me drugged feeling when I wake up.
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Avatar_m_tn
What Causes Restless Legs Syndrome?
The exact cause of restless legs syndrome is not known. The idiopathic or primary form of the disease seems to occur sporadically for unknown reasons. A family history of RLS is reported in many of these patients, suggesting a genetic component to the disease. Documented cases of parent-to-child transmission suggest that, in some familial cases, RLS may be inherited. In 2001, a French-Canadian group reported on a study of 25 family members, 14 of whom had RLS. The researchers suggest an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance in this family, with several candidate locations on chromosome 12 (Desautels A, Turecki G, Montplaisir J, et al. Identification of a major susceptibility locus for restless legs syndrome on chromosome 12q. Am J Hum Genet. 2001;69:1266-1270).

Secondary (or symptomatic) RLS occurs as a result of an underlying medical condition or in association with the use of certain drugs. For example, some conditions that may cause secondary RLS include kidney failure, low levels of iron, anemia, pregnancy, and peripheral neuropathy.

The symptoms of RLS may begin at any stage of life, including childhood, adolescence, or adulthood; however, the disease is more common with increasing age. Children with RLS are often misdiagnosed with "growing pains," anxiety disorders, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Forty percent of those diagnosed with RLS during adulthood report having experienced symptoms before the age of 20 years. RLS affects both males and females; however, females often seem to be more severely affected and thus may be more likely to seek medical attention leading to a diagnosis of RLS. About 42% of patients initially experience symptoms on one side of the body, and approximately 25% report unusual sensations and motor restlessness in their arms. A large majority (about 94%) experience associated sleep disturbance.

Is it possible that another medical problem may cause RLS?
Before recommending or prescribing any treatments, physicians assess patients to exclude any underlying disorders, conditions, or other factors that may be responsible for causing or aggravating their RLS. Secondary causes may be suspected when RLS symptoms are brief or have recently become more severe.

Symptomatic restless legs syndrome may occur secondary to iron deficiency, anemia, folate deficiency, uremia, thyroid problems, diabetes, or peripheral neuropathy. In such cases, appropriate treatment of the underlying condition may eliminate or alleviate RLS symptoms. Such treatments may include the use of iron supplements for iron deficiency, medications that lower blood sugar levels for underlying diabetes mellitus, etc. Appropriate supplementation with B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, or magnesium may help ease symptoms even if a specific deficiency has not been determined.

Are there medications that may cause secondary RLS?
The use of certain prescription or over-the-counter medications may cause or aggravate restless legs syndrome. Therefore, before recommending or prescribing any specific treatments, physicians may ask for detailed information about the patient's current regimen of medications. If physicians suspect that specific over-the-counter medications are contributing to the occurrence of RLS, they may suggest the use of alternative medications. If they suspect that certain necessary prescription medications are causing or exacerbating RLS symptoms, physicians may work in coordination with a patient's other physicians to ensure appropriate, comprehensive treatment of any disorders or conditions that are present. The potentially offending medication may be replaced with another drug.

Medications that may cause or aggravate RLS symptoms include many antinausea drugs, such as Compazine
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Avatar_f_tn
I thought I was the only one that woke up at 3am every morning!

I usually take a hot soak in the tub before bed, it helps most of the time and taking ambien too. Its a 4 hour sleep-aid for me as well.

FUBARCAT..... don't laugh, but if you put vicks vapor rub on your feet at nite with socks....it will help as well.... I was told about this for my ingrown toenails from my primary Doctor and laughed but finally went for it and it stopped the pain and I noticed it soothed my legs as well.....can't hurt to try!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your help.  I really didn't want to start taking any other "drugs" other than the Peg/Riba as I know THAT can't be good for the ol' liver, but I caved and called my GI.  He called "something" into my pharmacy for me, but didn't tell me what it was.  I'll pick it up tonight and see what goodies he has for me now.  


Mike:  Thanks for the research - you are great!  I don't take any other prescribed meds other than Peg/Riba, but I do take vitamins, milk thistle and lecithin.  My blood work has come back slightly low, but nothing to be concerned about, so maybe it's just a case of slightly low RBC and WBC counts.  

Whatever - all I know is I need sleep and my poor little legs must walk a million miles every night without me!  I'll let ya'll know what the GI prescribed and how it worked tomorrow.

Thanks again so much for the helpful input from everyone!
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Avatar_m_tn
I used to get restless legs occasionally. I recall my father suffering with this problem so it may indeed have a genetic component. I haven't had this problem for years but I remember well the misery of the disorder. I too suspect that the meds we take may be a factor. It's hard to know what these drugs really do. Good luck. Mike
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Avatar_n_tn
I also have the restless leg thing ~ and when I'm having a bad night of it, I also have it in my arms.  My legs and arms jump and just can't be still.  I have found a heating pad helps settle them down and have at times taken one extra strength tylenol in desperation and it seems to help.  Lotion and a good massage may bring some relief, too.
Mike, interesting the tie in with the iron levels as mine were low at start of tx.        
ambush
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Avatar_n_tn
also try taking your calcium magnesium d at night it helps to relax and calm nerves.
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Avatar_m_tn
The one study suggests that it's not the iron load per se but the amount of iron in the brain. I think it's still up in the air but I don't think iron supplementation is appropriate for most of us here. Mike
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Avatar_m_tn
From your research, it sounds like "restless legs" are different from what I've got. The only other times I have had it have been from amphetamines in my youth so I assume it is totally a drug reaction.
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Avatar_n_tn
GI ordered Clonazepam (Klonopin) for me.  In doing a Google search, it says it is contraindicated in patients with "severe liver disease".  Now what does this tell me?  Either I DO NOT have severe liver disease and my doc put me on Peg/Riba as a cruel joke (Kidding, I know that's not true); or I can get a good night's sleep if I take it, however, I can kill my liver with it in the meantime.  Is there just no end to the string of problems this damn dragon is going to cause????  AAAGGGHHHH.  I think I'll try the heating pad, calcium at night, hot bath before actually taking the Klonopin.  If I absolutely have to take the Klonopin, then I guess I'll try it.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 3 months post tx. and have been on klonapine for about 3 yrs. Remember everything passes thru the liver, so there aren't really any "good" drugs as far as that goes. I take 4 klonapine a day. I have been SVR all the way. Find out 6 month blood test in MAY. Go ahead and take the klonapine, it will help you sleep as well.

And everyone needs to stay away from  caffine  . It will deplete the water you are taking in. So go to de-caff...I know uuughhhh, and for the chocolate.....you can find artifical choc., well it's natural @ the health food store...it's called carob. I liked it better when I refrigorated it first.

And for the sore muscles...I used a heated wrap...best thing I ever invested in and my father-in-law gave me a  homemedics chair thingy...it's heated and it vibrates. I would get in the chair w/ the homemedic vibrating and heating my back side and then put the heated throw over that!!!! It was GREAT!!! hope you feel better and take a klonapin!!!!!! They may take a couple of wks to get in your system...they made me very sleepy @ first. Before they put me on lortab for pain, I did smoke a little weed, here and there. Hadn't done that in years!!!!!!! But it does help w/ the nausea and eases the pain as well. Take care, we all love ya! Cindee
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Avatar_n_tn
I get this on shot nite. I have been taking 2 liquid Nyquils on shot nite and it helps me sleep through the nite - my liver doc said this the liquid Nyqil caps are ok to take while on tx. If I have restless legs, I am asleep and don't know it!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Its funny how conditions we've always had are now formost in our minds.  I, too, never knew of RLS altho I've always had it.  When I 1st read of  RLS, my partner and my mother thought I was making it up.

Caffine makes it worse, the RLS and sleeplessness.  All the suggestions work.  Personally, I just have a ritual at bedtime.  My partner likes to get good and asleep before me and my RLS come to bed.  So, while he's settlein' in, I pour a hot footbath.  I like to boil the water, a tea kettle at a time.  I also add some plain, white vinagar (not needed, just preventative medicine).  I then sip herbal tea, have a piece of dark chocolate and replenish my dopimines by smoking a joint.  I then slowly dry and applied plain, old petrolium jelly-vik's w/o the vapor to my feet and lower legs.  Pop I benedryl and a tylonal and MELATONIN-a natural sleep aid -otc.

Then, the late news is over and I've seen Jay's or Dave's monologue and I go to sleep.

Heavy blankets in the winter help also.
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Avatar_n_tn
I love it.  Does the chocolate or the joint come first?  If it were me, it would be one joint and 100 pieces of chocolate!  Thanks for the help, I don't do caffiene anymore, I do drink herbal tea, and I haven't smoked anything for years, so I'm pretty well covered on that one.  Anyway, I'll try the natural remedies first, then resort to drugs last.
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Avatar_n_tn
i've had that restless leg syndrome since I was a young kid, always when I get tired and right before I get to sleep. I googled it a while back and there's not a whole lot you can do for it, they say some kind of exercise  with your legs or stretching is supposed to help but I never noticed much relief. I just have to keep flexing my calf muscles till I can get to sleep, sure can be aggravating, though.
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree ~ I had one GIPA at my office suggest I take a multi with iron and I disregarded the advice because my GI had previously told me NO iron and that it was a big plus to have the low iron storage in regards to tx success.  As a 1a, I need every "plus" I can get my hands on.
ambush
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey there, can't remember how far into tx you are but I'm amazed at antone doing this without ad's.  If you do decide to go the drug route, my doctor switched my ad and put me on trazadone when I told him the old one wasn't working and that i had the terrible twitching legs.  That was the first I heard of RLS and man did it work.  

I hate taking extra meds and never thought that "I" would need anything like an AD, but... these meds are tough.  Starting agin next Friday so it's

Second verse, same as the first!

Kim
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I wish YOU the Best on your second go-round. If you are married, I am, I hope no one (your wife) takes this wrong, but Kim you have been such an inspiration to me and what I want to say is... I truely LOVE you! You are the best!!!! And thru all this your sense of humor has been so wonderful and the friday nite songs are GREAT!!!!!! You keep your head up and I know, you are going to beat all the disease you are going thru. God is smiling down on you!!!!! Many Prayers and Much Love, Cindee
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Avatar_n_tn
Maybe you've read the recent studies on the health benefits of dark cocoa?  I, myself, prefer 80% cocoa bars (Lindt's.)  As to the pot, one man's poison is another man's potion.  And 25% of us, worldwide, legal or not, find recreational and medicinal use.

B/the footbath and leg and foot massage (reflexology) w/oil or lotion or herbal balm will relax the muscles and nerves that do cause that , well you know that feelin'.
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Avatar_m_tn
I want to join in and wish you good luck and easy sides this time around. Mike
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Avatar_f_tn
I have had rls for over 40 years. a muscle relaxer helped for a long time but has stopped working. I have tried 2 med from my dr. and it makes me groggy all night. I will try what you use Don. Thanks. Jean
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