What is Requip?

Requip (ropinirole) is a dopamine agonist that affects chemicals in the brain that are involved in the regulation of motor movements. Requip is used to treat Parkinson’s disease, and sometimes restless legs syndrome (RLS). Requip may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not use Requip if you are allergic to ropinirole, or if you have:uncontrolled movements of your tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs. Some people using this medicine have engaged in activity such as driving, eating, walking, making phone calls, or having sex and later having no memory of the event.


Health Benefits

Requip can help to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, including:



Bradykinesia (slowness of movement)

Postural instability (impaired balance)

Dyskinesia (involuntary movements)

Requip may also be effective in treating the symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS), including:

Aching or burning sensations in the legs

An urge to move the legs, often accompanied by an unpleasant sensation

Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep due to leg discomfort

The feeling that leg movements occur when they are not desired or needed (called “perceived” leg movements)

Requip may also have some other potential health benefits, including the ability to improve cognitive function in people with Parkinson’s disease and the ability to reduce the severity of hallucinations in people with schizophrenia.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Requip include:






Stomach pain






Less common side effects include:



Sleep problems (insomnia)


Unexplained skin sensations (such as crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, “pins and needles”, or tingling feelings)

Increased sweating

Swelling in your hands or feet

Dry mouth

Weight gain


Back pain

Blurred vision

Ringing in your ears


The usual starting dose of Requip for Parkinson’s disease is 0.25 mg taken orally three times daily. The dose may be increased by 0.25-0.5 mg increments every three to seven days until the desired response is achieved.

For restless legs syndrome, the recommended starting dose is 0.25 mg taken orally once daily, two to three hours before bedtime. The dose may be increased by 0.25-0.5 mg increments every one to two weeks until the desired response is achieved.

Requip should be taken with food or immediately after a meal to prevent stomach upset.


Requip may interact with other medications, including:

Levodopa or similar medicines for Parkinson’s disease (such as Sinemet)

Anticholinergics (medicines used to treat stomach or intestinal problems, urinary difficulties, or parkinsonism)

Other dopamine agonists (such as bromocriptine, cabergoline, pergolide)

Narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine)

Sleep aids (such as zolpidem)

Tricyclic antidepressants (such as amitriptyline)

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others

Seizure medications (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital)

Blood pressure medicines (ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril, amlodipine, beta-blockers such as metoprolol)

HIV protease inhibitors (such as atazanavir, indinavir, ritonavir)

St. John’s wort

Mechanism of Action

Requip works by mimicking the action of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for transmitting signals between nerve cells in the brain. By binding to dopamine receptors, Requip can help to improve muscle function and alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome.


Requip is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and undergoes extensive first-pass metabolism in the liver. The bioavailability of oral Requip is about 20%.

The half-life of Requip is about two to three hours.

Alternatives to Requip

Other treatment options for Parkinson’s disease include:

Levodopa/carbidopa (Sinemet)

Dopamine agonists such as bromocriptine (Parlodel), cabergoline (Dostinex), pergolide (Permax), and pramipexole (Mirapex)

MAO-B inhibitors such as selegiline (Eldepryl, Zelapar) and rasagiline (Azilect)

Anticholinergics such as benztropine (Cogentin), trihexyphenidyl (Artane), and diphenhydramine (Benadryl)

Amantadine (Symmetrel)

Comtan (entacapone)

Stalevo (carbidopa/levodopa/entacapone)

For restless legs syndrome, the following treatment options may be considered:

Dopamine agonists such as pramipexole (Mirapex) and ropinirole (Requip)

Anticonvulsants such as gabapentin (Neurontin), pregabalin (Lyrica), carbamazepine (Tegretol), and valproic acid (Depakote)

Iron supplements