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January 17, 1996

Restless Legs Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Virginia Neurologic Center Ltd Alexandria, Va

JAMA. 1996;275(3):187. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530270027025

To the Editor.  —In his lucid discussion of restless legs syndrome (RLS),1 Dr Feigin describes many of the agents noted to be anecdotally useful in treating this vexing problem. Absent from his list is gabapentin, which has been reported to be effective in RLS.2 Recently, we successfully treated five patients who suffered from RLS with gababentin. These patients had not responded to treatment with levodopa/carbidopa or clonazepam. They tolerated gabapentin quite well in doses ranging from 300 to 2700 mg/d.While the neurochemical basis of the action of gabapentin is not known with certainty, it may involve modulation of the action of the GABA receptors, thereby increasing inhibitory activity at some sites in the central nervous system. This provides a rationale for the use of gabapentin in the treatment of RLS.Controlled trials of gabapentin as well as some of the other agents described by Feigin are needed.