Augmentation of restless legs syndrome with long-term tramadol treatment

Roberto Vetrugno, Chiara La Morgia, Roberto D'Angelo, Daniela Loi, Federica Provini, Giuseppe Plazzi, Pasquale Montagna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Restless legs syndrome (RLS) augmentation, defined as a kind of suppression of the circadian rhythm of the disease in which sensory and motor symptoms appear earlier during the day (and over previously unaffected body parts), with a progressive phase advance until, backwards, the symptoms may cover the entire day, has been described only after treatment with dopaminergic drugs. We report clinical and polysomnography accounts of a patient developing RLS augmentation after long-term treatment with tramadol, an opioid agonist with selectivity for μ-receptor and added norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake inhibition properties. Polysomnography measures showed an improvement of RLS and a disappearance of diurnal sensory and motor RLS symptoms after tramadol was stopped. Our case confirms a recent retrospective report of augmentation of RLS after treatment with tramadol, and begs the question whether augmentation is truly restricted to dopaminergic drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-427
Number of pages4
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2007


  • Augmentation
  • Opioids
  • Polysomnography
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Tramadol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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