Clinical pharmacology and efficacy of rotigotine (Neupro® patch) in the treatment of restless leg syndrome

Luigi Ferini-Strambi, Sara Marelli, Andrea Galbiati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Restless legs syndrome/Willis Ekbom disease (RLS/WED) is a sensorimotor disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs accompanied by an urge to move them, that typically occurs and tend to worsen in the evening/night or during period of inactivity. Standard medications for RLS/WED are dopamine agonists and calcium channel α-2-δ ligands. The clinical spectrum of RLS/WED is very broad, ranging from individuals suffering from the disease during limited periods up to those severely affected, with daily symptoms. In such cases a long-acting drug like rotigotine should be considered. Areas covered: The clinical pharmacology and efficacy of rotigotine was examined to evaluate the evidence supporting its use in RLS/WED. Expert opinion: The rotigotine transdermal patch provides constant delivery of the drug, maintaining a stable plasma concentration over 24 hours by means of a single daily application. Several randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials have demonstrated the efficacy of rotigotine in improving moderate-to-severe RLS/WED symptoms. Rotigotine is generally well tolerated. The most common adverse effects were application-site reactions, dose-dependent, more frequently reported in the first period of treatment. Incidence of augmentation in RLS/WED patients treated with oral dopamine agonists is higher when compared with the use of transdermal rotigotine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Metabolism and Toxicology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jun 17 2016


  • adverse events
  • augmentation
  • dopamine agonists
  • restless leg syndrome
  • Rotigotine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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