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Ropinirole

Ropinirole

Ropinirole is a prescription drug provided for movement disorders like restless leg syndrome and Parkinson’s disease. This medication comes in both extended release and immediate release capsules depending on what you're taking it for. Extended release capsules are intended to release medication into your bloodstream gradually over time.   Ropinirole is also available under specific brand names and as a generic drug. This substance is often used as part of a combination therapy, which may mean that you need to take it with other types of treatment or medication. Ropinirole has many of the same effects on your mind and body as a chemical that's naturally found in the human's system called dopamine. Parkinson's disease and other conditions like Restless Leg Syndrome are frequently associated with lower levels of dopamine in the brain. 

Ropinirole is a medication that can either be used alone or with other medications to treat movement diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, or Restless Leg Syndrome. RLS is a disorder that affects the movement and sensation in your legs and may cause your legs to feel uncomfortable, which forces you to move your legs more frequently.  

What is Ropinirole? 

Ropinirole is a prescription drug provided for movement disorders like restless leg syndrome and Parkinson’s disease. This medication comes in both extended release and immediate release capsules depending on what you’re taking it for. Extended release capsules are intended to release medication into your bloodstream gradually over time.  

Ropinirole is also available under specific brand names and as a generic drug. This substance is often used as part of a combination therapy, which may mean that you need to take it with other types of treatment or medication. Ropinirole has many of the same effects on your mind and body as a chemical that’s naturally found in the human’s system called dopamine. Parkinson’s disease and other conditions like Restless Leg Syndrome are frequently associated with lower levels of dopamine in the brain. 

When is Ropinirole used? 

Ropinirole is a medication used for the treatment of movement disorders like restless leg syndrome and Parkinson’s. Usually, it will help with the management of symptoms like tremors, movement spasms, poor muscle control, and even stiffness in the legs.  

This medication belongs to a group of drugs that are widely known as dopamine agonists. These drugs are intended to treat conditions that occur when the levels of dopamine in your brain are lower than necessary. When levels of dopamine in your brain are too low, your chances of suffering from restless leg syndrome and Parkinson’s are increased.  

In Parkinson’s, the cells that produce dopamine die, which means that you don’t have as much control over your movement. Ropinirole replaces the missing dopamine in your system so you can regain your control and independence. 

How do you use Ropinirole? 

When your doctor prescribes Ropinirole, they will give you instructions on how you can use this medication safely. It’s important to follow all the instructions on the prescription label given by your doctor. If you’re unsure about anything, you can check the instructions within the package for your medication or speak to a pharmacist. Make sure that you do not take this medication in a different dose than the one that has been recommended by your doctor.  

If you are taking immediate release Ropinirole then you will not be able to take the extended release tablets at the same time. This medication can either be taken with or without food depending on your preferences. Some people prefer to take Ropinirole with food to reduce their risk of gastrointestinal side effects. Taking Ropinirole when you eat each day can also help you to remember to take the drug at the same time – which is helpful for long-term treatment.  

Do not crush, chew or break these tablets when taking them, and make sure that you contact your doctor if you see a part of the tablet in your stool. If you are taking this medication for RLS, ensure that you speak to your doctor if your symptoms continue more often in the morning, or they get worse over time. Do not stop taking this medication suddenly – even if you are having side effects, as this could lead to withdrawal symptoms. 

What dosages are available? 

Ropinirole can be purchased in a range of strengths, depending on your condition. Your doctor will assess your background carefully when choosing your dosage and deciding how long you should be taking Ropinirole for. When it comes to treating restless leg syndrome, the guideline dosage is a single tablet of 0.25mg taken once per day.  

In some cases, your doctor will start you on a lower dose of Ropinirole and work up to a higher dose depending on how you respond to treatment. Importantly, Ropinirole is given in different doses for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. You should not take this medication if you are younger than 18.  

What are the side effects of Ropinirole? 

Unfortunately, all medications can sometimes come with side effects. You may suffer no negative repercussions when taking Ropinirole at all. Other people may find that they experience only mild side effects for a short amount of time when their body is getting used to the new medication. If you’re concerned about any of the effects you experience when taking Ropinirole, speak to your doctor.  

Some of the most common side effects include: 

  • Dry mouth 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Dizziness 
  • Constipation 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Weakness 
  • Unusual sweating 
  • Headaches 

Some people taking Ropinirole can experience a sudden drop in their blood pressure levels, which may cause symptoms like dizziness or fainting. This is more likely to happen when you are starting to use the medication for the first time, or when your dose is increased. There is also a small chance that Ropinirole may increase your blood pressure, which may mean that your doctor conducts regular tests when you are taking Ropinirole.  

Serious side effects with Ropinirole are rare, but you should tell your doctor immediately if you have any serious side effects with this medication, including depression, changes in your mood, problems with walking or moving, or memory problems. Other serious side effects might include muscle cramps and spasms, problems with sexual performance, trouble sleeping, hallucinations, increased sexual urges, swelling in the feet or ankles, or vision changes. Tell your doctor if you notice an unusual heart beat, chest pain, or feelings of dizziness.  

Some people who take Ropinirole suddenly fall asleep during their standard activities – even without any symptoms of drowsiness beforehand. Because of this, it’s important to avoid driving and taking part in other dangerous activities when you’re using Ropinirole until you know that it’s safe.  

Severe allergic reactions to Ropinirole are rare but seek medical attention immediately if you notice a rash, itching, swelling around the tongue, face or throat, problems with dizziness or trouble breathing.

When shouldn't you use Ropinirole? 

Not everyone will be suitable to take Ropinirole. You should not take this substance if you are allergic to it or any of the substances that may be used within the tablets. Additionally, it’s worth speaking to your doctor about your full medical history before using this medication to ensure that it is safe for you.

Ropinirole will not be suitable for people with: 

  • Particularly low or high blood pressure 
  • Problems with their kidneys or kidney disease 
  • Heart disease or indicators of heart disease 
  • Heart rhythm issues 
  • Sleeping disorders like narcolepsy 

When taking Ropinirole, people with Parkinson’s disease may also have a slightly higher risk of becoming a victim of skin cancer. It’s important to speak to your doctor about these risks and ask what you can do to avoid the problem.  

At this time, it’s not certain whether Ropinirole could harm an unborn baby. If you are thinking of getting pregnant when taking this medication, or you are already pregnant, tell your doctor before you begin using this medication. Additionally, doctors aren’t sure whether Ropinirole passes into breast milk. Because of this, it may be a good idea to avoid taking this drug when you are nursing an infant.

Does Ropinirole interact with any other medications? 

Drug interactions are very common with a lot of different medications. That’s why it’s so important to tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications before you begin using Ropinirole. Do not start using any new drugs when you are on this medication without speaking to a doctor first. You will need to tell your health professional about all of the substances that you are taking, including over-the-counter medications, recreational drugs, herbal substances and supplements.  

Keep a list of all the products you use and share it with your pharmacist and doctor when taking Ropinirole. Some of the products that interact negatively with this medication are antiarrhythmics medication and antipsychotics like chlorpromazine. Other medications can affect the way that Ropinirole is broken down and removed from your body. For instance, this can happen with drugs like mexiletine, metoclopramide, rifampin, cimetidine, and fluvoxamine.  

Because of the affects that Ropinirole can have on sleeping and drowsiness, it’s important to tell your doctor about any other medications or products that you might be taking which cause drowsiness. This includes any opioid pain relievers like hydrocodone and codeine, alcohol, drugs for anxiety or sleep, and muscle relaxants like carisoprodol. It’s also important to avoid using Ropinirole with antihistamines which can cause you to fall asleep or feel tired.  

Smoking cigarettes can reduce the amount of this medication that runs through your bloodstream. Speak to your doctor about your smoking habits before you use Ropinirole.

Where can you buy Ropinirole? 

Ropinirole is available to buy from online and offline pharmacies after a consultation with a registered healthcare professional. You will need a consultation with a doctor to ensure that this substance is safe for you to take. 

Can you get Ropinirole without a prescription?  

Ropinirole is not available in the EU without a prescription. Your doctor will need to assess your condition and medical history to ensure that this drug is safe for you to take. If Ropinirole is not right for you, your doctor will suggest an alternative. 

 

References

Clete A. Kushida, Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat, 2006, Dec, 407-419, Ropinirole for the treatment of restless leg syndrome, [Accessed on the 21st of August 2019], Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671939/ 

IBM Micromedex, online, 2019, Ropinirole (Oral Route). [Accessed on the 21st of August 2019], Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/ropinirole-oral-route/description/drg-20066810  

RXlist, online, 2019, Ropinirole tablets, [Accessed on the 21st of August 2019], Available at: https://www.rxlist.com/requip-drug.htm