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This medication is used alone or with other medications to treat Parkinson's disease. It can improve your ability to move and decrease shakiness (tremor), stiffness, slowed movement, and unsteadiness. It may also decrease the number of episodes of not being able to move ("on-off syndrome").
Ropinirole is also used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS). It may improve your sleep by decreasing the urge to move your legs and decreasing uncomfortable/unpleasant feelings in the legs.
This medication works by helping to restore the balance of a certain natural substance (dopamine) in the brain.
Take Requip exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
If you are taking immediate-release Requip tablets you should not take the extended-release tablets at the same time.
The dose and timing of Requip in treating Parkinson's disease is different from the dose and timing in treating RLS. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions about the kind of ropinirole you receive at the pharmacy.
Requip can be taken with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day.
Call your doctor if you see part of the tablet in your stool. This is a sign that your body may not have absorbed all of the medicine.
If you are taking this medicine for RLS, tell your doctor if your symptoms get worse, if they occur in the morning or earlier than usual in the evening, or if you feel restless symptoms in your hands or arms.
It may take up to several weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.
Do not stop using Requip suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
Requip may cause you to fall asleep during normal daytime activities such as working, talking, eating, or driving. You may fall asleep suddenly, even after feeling alert. Tell your doctor if you have any problems with daytime sleepiness or drowsiness. If you are unsure of how this medicine will affect you, be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
You may have increased sexual urges, unusual urges to gamble, or other intense urges while taking this medication. Talk with your doctor if you believe you have any intense or unusual urges while taking Requip.
Do not share this medication with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you do. Avoid drinking alcohol, which can increase some of the side effects of Requip. Cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by ropinirole. Tell your doctor if you regularly use any of these other medicines.
Requip may cause hallucinations (the sensation of hearing or seeing something that is not there), most commonly among elderly people. Call your doctor if you experience hallucinations.
Do not stop using Requip or change your dose without first talking to your doctor. You may have side effects such as fever, muscle stiffness, and confusion if you stop the medication suddenly or if you change doses.
Some people taking medicines for Parkinson's disease have developed skin cancer (melanoma). However, people with Parkinson's disease may have a higher risk than most people for developing melanoma. Talk to your doctor about your specific risk and what skin symptoms to watch for. You may need to have regular skin examinations.
It is not known whether Requip will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It is not known whether ropinirole passes into breast milk or if it could affect the nursing baby. Ropinirole may slow breast milk production. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
Requip is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
Nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, unusual sweating, headache, and dry mouth may occur. If these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
You may also develop a sudden drop in blood pressure, which can cause dizziness, nausea, and fainting. This is more likely when you are first starting the medication or when your dose is increased, or when you get up suddenly. To lower your risk, get up slowly from a sitting or lying position.
This medication may also raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: difficulty moving or walking, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, depression, hallucinations, memory problems, trouble sleeping), muscle cramps/spasms, decreased sexual ability, unusual strong urges (such as increased gambling, increased sexual urges), swelling of the ankles/feet, chest pain, unusually fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, vision changes.
Some people taking ropinirole have fallen asleep suddenly during their usual daily activities (such as talking on the phone, driving). In some cases, sleep occurred without any feelings of drowsiness beforehand. This sleep effect may occur anytime during treatment with ropinirole even if you have used this medication for a long time. If you experience increased sleepiness or fall asleep during the day, do not drive or take part in other possibly dangerous activities until you have discussed this effect with your doctor. Your risk of this sleep effect is increased by using alcohol or other medications that can make you drowsy. See also Precautions section.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking this medicine except on your doctor's advice. Stopping this medicine too quickly may cause serious side effects.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. It may be several weeks or months before you feel the full effect of this medicine.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can increase possible dizziness. Avoid alcoholic drinks. If you find that you have sudden feelings of wanting to sleep during normal activities, like cooking, watching television, or while driving or riding in a car, you should contact your health care professional.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
There have been reports of increased sexual urges or other strong urges such as gambling while taking some medicines for Parkinson's disease. If you experience any of these urges while taking this medicine, you should report it to your health care provider as soon as possible.
You should check your skin often for changes to moles and new growths while taking this medicine. Call your doctor if you notice any of these changes.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.