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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 5330
Experience:  Neurology & Int Medicine (US Trained): 20 yrs experience
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My son, a 30 year veteran of the US Marine Corps, has been

Customer Question

my son, a 30 year veteran of the US Marine Corps, has been experiencing severe restless legs. They start at 10 am. The VA has given me meds but they make him so drowsy he finds it hard to stay awake. His is 51 year old. Should he go to Mayo for further diagnosis.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
Hi there. Is your son experiencing any pain in his legs?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, and constant need to move
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
Does this start as soon as he gets up, or does it start a bit later?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
a bit later, about 2 hours, he runs at 5am or 6am then about 9:30 or 10 am it starts
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
Does the pain start while running or only after? And how long do the symptoms last once they start?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
start after running and will last until he takes his meds
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the meds make him extremely drowsy
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
Do you know the name of his medication?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
gavapentin, 900 milagrams 3x day: ropinirole 2mg before dinner and 2mg before bed
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
Both of these medications can cause daytime sleepiness. Has he ever tried one without the other?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No, he is afraid he will be kicking his wife all night!!
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
I see. Has he tried any other medications?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, this is the last regimen the VA has given him. Isn't there diet and something else that will lessen the extreme drowsiness so that he can concentrate on his Masters and new career.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
Going to Mayo is a good idea when one has reached the limits of what one's own doctors can do. They are on the cutting edge of treatment for many hard to control conditions like RLS. They are likely to provide a comprehensive program for your son including medications and lifestyle changes.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you so much, I believe that is where he needs to go now. Thank you
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
For example, they recommend the following:Try baths and massages. Soaking in a warm bath and massaging your legs can relax your muscles.Apply warm or cool packs. Use of heat or cold, or alternating use of the two, may lessen your limb sensations.Try relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga.Stress can aggravate RLS/WED. Learn to relax, especially before bedtime.Establish good sleep hygiene. Fatigue tends to worsen symptoms of RLS/WED, so it's important that you practice good sleep hygiene. Ideally, have a cool, quiet, comfortable sleeping environment; go to bed and rise at the same time daily; and get adequate sleep. Some people with RLS/WED find that going to bed later and rising later in the day helps in getting enough sleep.Exercise. Getting moderate, regular exercise may relieve symptoms of RLS/WED, but overdoing it or working out too late in the day may intensify symptoms.Avoid caffeine. Sometimes cutting back on caffeine may help restless legs. Try to avoid caffeine-containing products, including chocolate and caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, tea and soft drinks, for a few weeks to see if this helps.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
He probably has tried most of these already. But clearly they are helpful when combined with the appropriate medications at the appropriate doses. It sounds like his medications need to be adjusted or changed as this level of sedation is unacceptable.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
You're welcome.Hope all works out for the best for your son.God bless.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
Let me know if you have any follow up questions.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
Hello. How is your son doing? Did he get care at Mayo?
Hope he is doing better.
If you have no more questions, please remember to provide a rating so we know how we did. Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.