Senior Health Home > Precautions and Warnings With Ropinirole XL
It is important to understand the precautions and warnings with ropinirole XL before starting this medication. For instance, you may not be able to safely use ropinirole XL if you have certain medical conditions, such as a psychotic disorder, a sleep disorder, or low blood pressure. Ropinirole XL warnings and precautions also apply to people who have certain allergies and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Ropinirole XL: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking ropinirole XL (Requip® XL) if you have:
- A major psychotic disorder, such as schizophrenia
- A sleep disorder
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you:
- Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
- Are breastfeeding
- Smoke cigarettes.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Precautions and Warnings With Ropinirole XLSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking ropinirole XL include the following:
- The medication can cause hallucinations. This side effect is most common in elderly people. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop hallucinations while taking the drug. Also, let your friends, family, or caretakers know about this potential side effect, as they may be better able to identify the problem.
- The medication may cause you to fall asleep during the day, sometimes without warning. This can be especially dangerous if you are driving a car or operating heavy machinery. In addition, this can happen long after you start taking ropinirole XL. Ask your healthcare provider if you should stop driving a car or operating heavy machinery while taking ropinirole XL. These problems tend to occur more often in people who have sleeping disorders.
- In general, it is not a good idea for people with major psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia) to take ropinirole XL, as the medication could make these conditions worse.
- Ropinirole XL can cause low blood pressure, especially when standing or sitting up too quickly. Take your time getting up, and let your healthcare provider know if you experience fainting or frequent dizziness.
- Ropinirole XL can worsen dyskinesia (a movement disorder that is a common side effect of levodopa, another Parkinson's medication). If you take ropinirole XL with a medication that contains levodopa (Parcopa®, Sinemet®, Sinemet® CR, Stalevo®), your healthcare provider may need to decrease your levodopa dosage.
- Medications similar to ropinirole XL can cause serious problems if they are stopped too quickly. Signs of such problems include high fever, stiff muscles, and an altered state of consciousness. Although these problems have not been reported with ropinirole XL, the possibility cannot be ruled out.
- Medications similar to ropinirole XL can cause serious lung, chest, and heart problems as the result of excessive formation of fibrous connective tissue.
- People with Parkinson's disease have a higher risk of melanoma (a type of skin cancer). It is not known if this is due to Parkinson's disease medications or to other factors. Although ropinirole XL does not seem to increase the risk of melanoma, it cannot be ruled out, and regular skin cancer screenings are recommended.
- There have been a few reports of unusual compulsive behaviors, such as gambling, binge eating, or hypersexuality, in people taking ropinirole XL. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop any such behaviors while taking the drug. Also, let your friends, family, or caretakers know about this potential side effect, as they may be better able to identify the problem.
- Ropinirole XL can potentially interact with several medications, as well as with cigarette smoke (see Drug Interactions With Ropinirole XL).
- Ropinirole XL is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Requip XL and Pregnancy).
- It is not known whether ropinirole XL passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Requip XL and Breastfeeding).