This Week in Sleep Medicine: March 19, 2019
While You Were Sleeping: What Sleep Technologists Need to Know This Week
Your media watchdog for headlines and trends
relevant to sleep technology and patient education.
Should Sleep Specialists Prescribe Opioids for Restless Legs Syndrome?
March 11, 2019
From the article: “A professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a leader in the study of the mechanisms behind the condition, [John] Winkelman, MD, PhD, has made enormous contributions to the medical field over the last few decades. He’s investigated treatment options for patients with kidney failure and RLS. He observed how limb movements during sleep can increase heart rate and blood pressure, which could have cardiovascular implications for people with RLS. Now, in light of studies linking RLS augmentation with dopamine agonist therapy, he is looking at opioid therapies.”
Takeaway: It's a tough call, and probably depends on a variety of factors, such as a patient's sleep breathing status, history of substance use and abuse, or other factors. Given the current "war on opioids," Winkelman has a rough journey ahead convincing the medical establishment otherwise.