Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (cont.)
Therapy does not cure PLMD but relieves symptoms. Note that many of the medications used to treat PLMD are the same as those used to treat restless legs syndrome.
- Benzodiazepines: These drugs suppress muscle contractions. They are also sedatives and help you sleep through the movements. Clonazepam (Klonopin), in particular, has been shown to reduce the total number of periodic limb movements per hour. It is probably the most widely used drug to treat PLMD.
- Dopaminergic agents: These drugs increased the levels of an important neurotransmitter (brain chemical) called dopamine, which is important in regulating muscle movements. These medications seem to improve the condition in some people but not in others. Widely used examples are a levodopa/carbidopa combination (Sinemet) and pergolide (Permax).
- Anticonvulsant agents: These medications reduce muscle contractions in some people. The most widely used anticonvulsant in PLMD is gabapentin (Neurontin).
- GABA agonists: These agents inhibit release of certain neurotransmitters that stimulate muscle contractions. The result is relaxation of contractions. The most widely used of these agents in PLMD is baclofen (Lioresal).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2014
Must Read Articles Related to Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
Disorders That Disrupt Sleep (Parasomnias)
Parasomnias are disruptive sleep-related disorders. They are characterized by undesirable physical or verbal behaviors or experiences. Parasomnias occur in asso...learn more >>
Insomnia affects most people at some point in their lifetime. Insomnia is actually a symptoms of a condition, disease, or situation. Non-medical treatment of in...learn more >>
Sleep Disorders and Aging
Are you one of millions of seniors in the US who think life would be pretty good if you could just get some sleep?
Sleep disturbances are very common ...learn more >>
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Periodic Limb Movement Disorder: