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What Is Ropinirole XL Used For?

How Does Ropinirole XL Work?

Ropinirole XL belongs to a group of medications known as dopamine agonists. This means that it works much like dopamine, a naturally occurring brain chemical. It binds to dopamine receptors and stimulates them, much like natural dopamine would.
Dopamine deficiency (caused by a loss of dopamine-producing cells) in certain parts of the brain may be responsible for many of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Therefore, using a medication that acts like dopamine, such as ropinirole XL, can help to relieve several symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Although it would make sense to just use dopamine to treat Parkinson's disease, this does not work because dopamine cannot cross the blood-brain barrier to reach the brain. Ropinirole XL acts much like dopamine and is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, making it an ideal Parkinson's medication.

Ropinirole XL Use in Children

Ropinirole XL is not approved for use in children (which makes sense, as Parkinson's is typically a disease found in elderly people). Talk with your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using ropinirole XL in children.

Off-Label Ropinirole XL Uses

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend ropinirole XL for something other than Parkinson's disease. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, there are several off-label ropinirole XL uses, such as treating the following conditions:
  • Tremors (shakiness) not due to Parkinson's
  • Fibromyalgia.
The short-acting version of this medication (Requip®) is approved to treat both Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome (RLS). Ropinirole XL is not approved for RLS and is not generally appropriate for RLS treatment, as its effects last longer than is necessary (RLS symptoms occur primarily at night).
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Ropinirole XL Drug Information

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