RLS Caused by Over-the-Counter Medications/Bruises on My Legs

Elisa Basora, S. Kamal Naqvi, Anna Wani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Restless legs syndrome (RLS)/Willis-Ekbom disease (WEB) is a common sleep-related disorder affecting approximately 7% of the adult European and American population and 2% of children between 8-17 years old. It is described as an urge to move the legs when resting, with associated dysesthesia, and a circadian appearance. There is a higher prevalence of RLS cases in female sex, increasing age and patients with a positive family history. Other factors as iron deficiency, medications, chronic renal failure, pregnancy and immobility may precipitate and worsen symptoms. Many common classes of medications such as antihistamines and anticholinergics can exacerbate RLS symptoms. A histaminergic abnormality related to increased hypocretin has been the proposed mechanism for RLS exacerbation with antihistamines. RLS symptoms can cause sleep-onset or sleep-maintenance insomnia, unrestorative sleep and poor quality of life. Comprehensive evaluation and medication review by health care providers should be performed in all patients with sleep disturbances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComorbid Sleep and Psychiatric Disorders
Subtitle of host publicationA Clinical Casebook
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9783030117726
ISBN (Print)9783030117719
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Diphenhydramine (antihistamine medications)
  • Insomnia
  • Nonrestorative sleep
  • Restless legs syndrome (RLS)
  • Sleep disorders
  • Willis-Ekbom disease (WED)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Psychology


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