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Bromocriptine for RLS

Clinical bottom line

There is no evidence from a small trial in six patients that bromocriptine is of any value in RLS.


AS Walters et al. A double-blind randomized crossover trial of bromocriptine and placebo in restless legs syndrome. Annals of neurology 1988 24: 455-458.

Clinical trial

This tiny trial involved six patients treated with bromocriptine and placebo in two 30-day periods separated with two weeks without drug. Outcomes were mainly sleep studies.


The details are in Table 1. There were some small differences in sleep, and RLS symptoms, though the latter are not well described.

Table 1: Clinical trial of bromocriptine

Treatments and Outcomes
Patient details
Adverse Events
Walters et al. Ann Neurol 1988 24: 455-458 R = 1
DB = 1
WD = 1
QS = 3
Duration = 30 days in each phase
1 Bromocriptine 7.5 mg daily (6)
2 Placebo (6)

Symptoms and sleep studies
Six patients with sleep disturbances with severe limb movements. Mean age 61 years (40-68 years), duration of RLS average 19 (range 10-39) years Five patients improved on bromocriptine, with significant decrease in number of limb movements while asleep, and RLS symptoms One patient on bromocriptine suffered nasal stuffiness



There is no evidence that bromocriptine is helpful in RLS.