Does Pristiq cause restless leg syndrome? (+3 factors)

In this article, we will discuss whether Prsitiq can cause restless leg syndrome. We will also discuss some research studies and what one should do if this side effect occurs.

Does Pristiq cause restless leg syndrome?

Yes, Pristiq can cause restless leg syndrome. However, this is not a common side effect and the incidence is low. 

Restless legs syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by an irresistible urge to move legs, often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations. It is more pronounced at night and causes sleep disturbances (1).

The restless leg syndrome on Pristiq is not generally a concern and very few such cases are reported. However, individual responses to medications vary (2).

If a person experiences any unusual symptoms or concerns while taking Pristiq, it is essential to discuss them with their healthcare provider.

How does Pristiq cause restless leg syndrome?

The exact mechanism involved in causing restless legs syndrome due to Pristiq is not fully known. However, studies show a link between RLS and Pristiq.

Prsitiq is an antidepressant which affects certain neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine) in the brain. This side effect could be caused by the effects of Pristiq and other SNRIs on dopamine which is another excitatory chemical like serotonin and norepinephrine (3).

Studies have also indicated that the incidence of this side effect is relatively low and it may get better with the addition of Bupropion to the treatment regimen. However, the safety, efficacy and appropriate doses are not fully determined.

The occurrence of this side effect can vary from person to person and could be linked to other patient-specific factors.

What factors can influence restless legs syndrome while on Pristiq?

Several factors can influence restless legs syndrome while taking Pristiq. These include:

Individual sensitivity: People react differently to medications. Some individuals may be more prone to experiencing RLS symptoms while taking Pristiq than others. Pristiq might increase underlying neurological conditions related to restless leg syndrome in some individuals.

Dosage and duration: Higher doses or changes in doses can start or increase the RLS symptoms. Use of Pristiq for a long time can also initiate or exacerbate the symptoms of restless legs syndrome.

The dosage of Pristiq might have varying effects on different individuals. Sometimes adjusting the dosage or changing the time of your medication can decrease or increase RLS symptoms.

Drug interactions: Pristiq may interact with other medications or substances you are taking, which can lead to RLS symptoms. Always consult your healthcare provider before combining medication to avoid potential interactions.

Underlying conditions: Some underlying medical conditions such as kidney problems, iron deficiency, diabetes or peripheral neuropathy may make individuals more susceptible to restless legs syndrome while taking Pristiq. Pristiq might interact with these conditions, indirectly affecting RLS symptoms.

What to do if Pristiq causes restless syndrome?

If Pristiq causes RLS, reach out to your healthcare provider. Your doctor will properly examine your condition and determine the most appropriate way to resolve your symptoms.

Your healthcare provider may ask you questions about your sleep patterns, any sensations you experience in your legs, and if your symptoms worsen at night. they may also perform physical examinations and conduct blood tests to rule out other possible causes.

If Pristiq is the main culprit, your doctor may reduce your dosage to see if it works for you. If dose reduction is not helpful they may gradually discontinue your medication or switch to another antidepressant with fewer side effects.

Additionally, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, such as avoiding caffeine or alcohol before bedtime and incorporating regular exercise.

Some doctors may recommend OTC gels, like Voltaren gel for symptomatic relief. It is important to talk to your doctor about your side effects before you make any changes to your treatment with Pristiq.

Antidepressants should not be stopped abruptly because of the potential withdrawal symptoms upon improper drug discontinuation (4).

In my view and the knowledge available, Pristiq can cause restless legs syndrome in some individuals. However, individual responses to medications vary.

If you experience RLS symptoms while taking Pristiq it is essential to consult your healthcare provider for guidance, evaluation and potential management strategies.



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