Codeine for RLS

RLS or Restless Leg Syndrome is a condition that typically occurs in the evening especially when you are sitting or lying down. The cause of this condition is still not clear. However, in some cases, RLS is thought to be inherited and some have been linked with nerve damage in the legs from:

  • Alcoholism
  • Sleep disorders
  • Pregnancy
  • Iron deficiency
  • Kidney problems
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications

Your doctor can diagnose your condition based on your symptoms, a physical exam, and complete medical history. Moreover, tests, such as sleep studies or lab tests, may be done. Currently, there is not a definitive test to diagnose Restless Leg Syndrome.  

In addition, your doctor will consider your age, general health, and other factors when recommending treatment for you. Treatment options for Restless Leg Syndrome may include:

  • Maintaining a well-balanced diet
  • Stopping activities that worsen symptoms
  • Trying good sleep habits
  • Regular, moderate exercise
  • Giving up alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco. These may make symptoms worse.
  • Treating underlying chronic conditions

Where is Codeine used?

Codeine is used to relieve mild to moderate pain. This medication is also used with other prescriptions to reduce coughing. This helps relieve symptoms but will not treat the cause of symptoms. Codeine belongs to the group of drugs called opiate analgesics and to a class of medicines called antitussives. Once Codeine is used to treat pain, it works by altering the way the nervous system and brain respond to pain. When this drug is used to decrease coughing, it works by lessening the activity in the part of the brain that causes coughing.   

Using Codeine for Restless Leg Syndrome

Codeine is an opioid drug that is used effectively when painkillers such as Ibuprofen and Paracetamol have not been effective. This drug acts within the brain and spinal cord to reduce your feeling of and reaction to pain. Codeine is also used to decrease the pain and severity of symptoms associated with Restless Leg Syndrome.

The use of Codeine for RLS is off-label which means that though the manufacturer of the drug has not stated it can be used in this way, there is proof that it works to treat RLS. This is why you need to read our leaflet in addition to the patient information leaflet issued from the manufacturer.

Things To Know When Using Codeine For Restless Leg Syndrome

  • It is likely for you to be reliant on Codeine. Stopping suddenly might cause problems such as feeling irritable and restless. Keep taking the medicines until your doctor tells you otherwise. If you have been taking it for some time and want to stop it, your doctor will advise that you lessen your dosage gradually to avoid the risk of these effects.
  • Do not take more than your prescription. It can lessen your breathing rate if taken in large dosages.
  • Codeine might affect your responses. When you first start treatment, do not drive until you know how you react.
  • Do not drink alcohol while taking Codeine as this may increase your risk of developing side effects which can be dangerous.
  • Codeine seldom causes problems with other medications when used for RLS. Check with your doctor if you have any uncertainties. If you are buying any medications over-the-counter, always mention that you are taking Codeine. It is harmless to take Paracetamol and Ibuprofen with this medication. Advice must be required when purchasing herbal remedies.

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