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Timing Is Key With My RLS Medications

My mom has Crohn’s disease very severely and would often end up in the hospital as a result. I remember there was one time when one of the legacy nurses (meaning a head nurse for a couple of decades) told my mom that the key to painkillers was timing.

The impact of timing on pain medicine

For example, if you are supposed to take the painkiller every 4 hours and it takes 1 hour for the next painkiller to kick in, you take the painkiller at the 3-hour mark, not the 4-hour mark. That way, the medication is coasting along more consistently and it’s less stressful on your body than the dramatic spikes.

This can apply to many different medications. There is a reason that informational pamphlets, doctors, and pharmacists alike say to take certain medications at the same time every day.

Taking my RLS medications at the same time every day

To be honest, I really only ever followed that rule with pain medications. It wasn’t until I started treatment for RLS 2 years ago that I started applying this to all my medications.

I have an alarm set to remind me to take my medications at the same time every day, except for my evening RLS medications. If I am not near the medications, I snooze the alarm.

The doctor said to take pramipexole and magnesium 1 hour before bed, but I found that they hadn’t started working after an hour. I have found that if I take them 2-3 hours before bed, they are actually working when I go to bed.

Making an impact on my daytime RLS symptoms

When I started experiencing augmentation earlier this year and experiencing RLS symptoms in the daytime, I started taking 2 pramipexole in the evenings instead of 1. I discovered that it wasn’t really doing much, so I decided to take 1 in the morning and 1 like I normally do. This has actually made a difference; I don’t get as much RLS activity in the daytime, and the bit that I do isn’t as bad.

The main area where I really was noticing the impact of daytime RLS was with naps. I have previously written about why naps are so important for me, what with living with multiple diseases and all, so when daytime RLS started making it impossible to nap, I knew change had to happen. Thanks to taking 1 pill in the morning, I am able to nap again!

This medication routine won't last forever

I know that while this medication routine is currently working for me, it won’t last another year — maybe another 6 months if I am lucky.

As I am taking pramipexole, I won’t be increasing the dose again, even though it’s already a very low dose. I already don’t like the compulsive impulses I experience, as mild as they are. I’m not going to make it more difficult on myself; I will try my luck with either pregabalin or mirogabalin. I already know gabapentin and I have issues even though I wasn’t taking it for the purpose of RLS relief.

Do you find that a scheduled routine for taking medications is beneficial for you, or does it not seem to matter?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The RestlessLegsSyndrome.Sleep-Disorders.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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