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Ropinirole

Last updated on 13/07/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Ropinirole

CHINESE NAME: 羅匹尼羅

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Requip 力必平

DRUG CLASS: Antiparkinsonian agents

SUB CLASS: Dopamine agonists

USED FOR: Restless leg syndrome, Parkinson’s disease

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS:
– 0.25mg, 1mg, 2mg (tablets)
– 2mg, 4mg, 8mg (prolonged-release tablets)

What is Ropinirole for?

Ropinirole belongs to a class of medications called dopamine agonists. It works in the same way as dopamine on the nervous system to control body movements. Therefore, it can be used to treat Parkinson’s disease and restless leg syndrome (conventional tablets only).

How to use it?

Ropinirole can be taken orally as conventional tablets or prolonged-release tablets, which should be swallowed whole without breaking or cutting.  

For Parkinson’s disease:
Conventional tablets:
Initial: 0.25 mg three times daily for 1 week, and increase the dose as following:
week 2: 0.5 mg three times daily
week 3: 0.75 mg three times daily
week 4: 1 mg three times daily
after week 4: weekly increase by 0.5 mg/dose up to 3 mg three times daily
thereafter: weekly increase by 1 mg/dose up to 8 mg three times daily

Usual maintenance dose: 12-16 mg/day (maximum: 24 mg/day)

Prolonged-release tablets:
Initial: 2 mg once daily for 1-2 weeks, and can be increased by 1 mg/dose at weekly or longer intervals.
Usual maintenance dose: 12-16 mg/day (maximum: 24 mg/day)

For restless leg syndrome:
Conventional tablets:
Initial: 0.25 mg once daily 1-3 hours before bedtime for 2 days, and increase the dose as following if needed (use the lowest effective dose):
day 3-7: 0.5 mg once daily, 1-3 hours before bedtime
week 2: 1 mg once daily, 1-3 hours before bedtime
week 3: 1.5 mg once daily, 1-3 hours before bedtime
week 4: 2 mg once daily, 1-3 hours before bedtime
week 5: 2.5 mg once daily, 1-3 hours before bedtime
week 6: 3 mg once daily, 1-3 hours before bedtime
week 7: 4 mg once daily (maximum), 1-3 hours before bedtime

What are the side effects of Ropinirole?

Common side effects of Ropinirole include dizziness, drowsiness, orthostatic hypotension, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, hypotension, and hallucinations.

Who should not take Ropinirole?

People who are allergic to Ropinirole or any component of the formulation.

Pharmacist Tips:

– Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how you respond to Ropinirole as it may cause drowsiness.
– Avoid drinking alcohol during the treatment.
– Do not stop taking Ropinirole suddenly as it may worsen your symptoms.
– If you start or stop taking estrogen-containing drugs such as birth control pills during drug therapy, you should inform your doctor or pharmacist.
– Some people taking this drug have fallen asleep during activities like driving, eating, or talking, and they did not feel sleepy and felt alert right before falling asleep. This has happened up to 1 year after this drug was started. Immediately report the occurrence of falling asleep during activities of daily living.
– Some people may develop strong urges, such as gambling, compulsive eating, compulsive buying, and increased sex drive. If you or people around you notice that you are developing unusual behaviors, talk to your doctor.

Common dosing schedule:
Ropinirole can be taken with or without food. For restless leg syndrome, it should be taken 1-3 hours before bedtime. 

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Ropinirole may interact with:
Fluvoxamine
Ciprofloxacin
Promethazine
– Contraceptives, e.g. Ethinylestradiol
– Dopamine antagonists, e.g. Metoclopramide, Domperidone
– Antipsychotics, e.g. Haloperidol, Olanzapine, Chlorpromazine

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Ropinirole in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Ropinirole is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Ropinirole in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.