Medically reviewed on March 27, 2017.
What is ropinirole?
Ropinirole is used to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease (stiffness, tremors, muscle spasms, and poor muscle control). Ropinirole is also used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS).
Only immediate-release ropinirole (Requip) is approved to treat either Parkinson symptoms or RLS. Extended-release ropinirole (Requip XL) is approved only to treat Parkinson symptoms.
Parkinson's and RLS are two separate disorders. Having one of these conditions will not cause you to have the other condition.
Ropinirole may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use ropinirole if you are allergic to it.
To make sure ropinirole is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
high or low blood pressure;
kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
heart disease, heart rhythm problems;
a sleep disorder such as narcolepsy, or other conditions that may cause daytime sleepiness; or
if you smoke.
It is not known whether this medicine 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.
Ropinirole is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take ropinirole?
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 ropinirole (Requip) you should not take extended-release ropinirole (Requip XL) at the same time.
The dose and timing of ropinirole 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.
Ropinirole can be taken with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet (Requip XL). Swallow it whole.
Call your doctor if you see part of the ropinirole 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 ropinirole 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.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking ropinirole?
Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall. Dizziness may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how this medicine will affect you.
Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of ropinirole.
Ropinirole side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Some people taking ropinirole have fallen asleep during normal daytime activities such as working, talking, eating, or driving. Tell your doctor if you have any problems with daytime sleepiness or drowsiness.
You may have increased sexual urges, unusual urges to gamble, or other intense urges while taking this medicine. Talk with your doctor if this occurs.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
extreme drowsiness, falling asleep suddenly (even after feeling alert);
worsening or no improvement in your symptoms;
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
unusual changes in mood or behavior;
tremors, twitching uncontrollable muscle movements; or
hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real).
Side effects such as confusion or hallucinations may be more likely in older adults.
Common side effects may include:
drowsiness, dizziness, weakness;
headache, confusion, hallucinations;
increased blood pressure (severe headache, pounding in your neck or ears, nosebleed, irregular heartbeats);
flu symptoms (fever, chills, body aches);
sudden muscle movements;
increased sweating; or
swelling in your legs or feet.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect ropinirole?
Taking ropinirole with other drugs that make you sleepy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic medication, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Other drugs may interact with ropinirole, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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- Drug class: dopaminergic antiparkinsonism agents