Effective cabergoline treatment in idiopathic restless legs syndrome

K Stiasny-Kolster, H Benes, I Peglau, M Hornyak, B Holinka, K Wessel, W Emser, M Leroux, R Kohnen, W H Oertel
Neurology 2004 December 28, 63 (12): 2272-9

OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy and safety of the dopamine agonist cabergoline (CAB) in patients with restless legs syndrome (RLS).

METHODS: Patients with moderate to severe RLS were randomized into four groups receiving placebo, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, or 2 mg CAB once daily in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter dose-finding trial followed by an open long-term extension trial of 47 weeks. Efficacy was assessed with the RLS-6 scales and International RLS Study Group severity scale (IRLS).

RESULTS: A total of 85 patients (age 56 +/- 10 years, 71% females) were treated. Severity of RLS-6 scale symptoms during the night (the primary endpoint) was markedly improved by all CAB doses compared to placebo (placebo: -1.4 +/- 3.1, 0.5 mg CAB: -4.2 +/- 3.0 [p = 0.0082], 1.0 mg CAB: -4.0 +/- 2.9 [p = 0.0040], 2.0 mg CAB: -4.8 +/- 3.7 [p = 0.0026]). Similar results were found for the RLS severity at bedtime and during the day, IRLS, and satisfaction with sleep. A stable, clinically relevant improvement was achieved in all efficacy measures (severity during the night: change between last assessment and baseline: -5.6 +/- 2.5, rate of remission: 71.2%) throughout 1 year with a mean CAB dose of 2.2 mg per day. During long-term treatment, 6 of 66 treated patients were affected (n = 2) or possibly affected (n = 4) by mild augmentation. Under CAB therapy up to 1 year, 11 of 85 patients discontinued treatment due to a drug-related adverse event.

CONCLUSIONS: Cabergoline is an efficacious and well-tolerated option for the treatment of restless legs symptoms during the night and the day.

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