Requip (ropinirole) is made by GlaxoSmithKline and was approved in September 1997 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA ) for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of idiopathic Parkinson's disease, and in May 2005 for the treatment of moderate to severe primary restless legs syndrome (RLS). Ropinirole has been available in generic form since May 2008.

RLS is a neurologic disorder that affects the lower legs. It causes discomfort in the legs and an overwhelming feeling of wanting to move them.

Ropinirole is a dopamine agonist that helps to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson's disease and RLS by working in certain areas of the brain. Requip has been shown to be efficatious in controlled, randomized trials in patients with early Parkinson's disease not receiving concomitant L-dopa therapy and in patients with advanced disease on concomitant L-dopa.

Certain side effects associated with the use of Requip, however, prompted the FDA in October 2008 to announce modifications to the drug's patient package insert . These warn that some patients taking Requip may "get urges to behave in a way that is unusual for them." Examples cited include an unusual urge to gamble, and increased sexual urges and behaviors.

Other cautions on the insert for those being treated with Requip include a risk of:

  • falling asleep during daily activities
  • developing compulsive behaviors in addition to those mentioned above, including compulsive eating and shopping habits
  • hallucinations in elderly patients
  • developed fibrotic changes (scarring or thickening) in their heart valves and lungs

There are numerous additional potential side effects associated with the use of Requip, most of which require medical attention. The more common ones include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • drowsiness
  • weakness
  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • uncontrollable body movements
  • swelling of the legs
  • worsening of parkinsonism

If you or a loved one has suffered or is suffering side effects associated with the use of Requip or ropinirole, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a qualified pharmaceutical injury attorney for an evaluation of your case.