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Prednisone and restless legs

prednisone and restless legs

hi all,
i was just released from the hospital last night after 6 days for a crohn's flare, and i have been put on prednisone for the first time in my life. it seems to be helping a lot of the GI symptoms, but some of the side effects are pretty nasty. the one that is bothering me the most right now is that i have constant, really intense restless legs. i am not talking about an urge to get up and move around, but rather constant tremors in my legs so that it is literally impossible to stay still or relax. i could barely drive 2 minutes back to my house yesterday it was so bad. when i was in the hospital, they were giving me high doses of ativan, cos the pred was also making my heart race, and they gave me some lower dose xanax for home, which i have been taking, but it doesn't really work all that well unless i take a whole lot which just knocks me out (at this point, i am inclined to just do that, which doesn't lend to the most productivity in life). has anyone else had this experience, and, if so, have you had success with any other teratments (medical or otherwise)? thank you SO much for your input - i will be anxiously awaiting your responses!
I have the same issue

Hi there,

I have been trying to figure out why my restless leg syndrome comes and goes and after reading your post I went back and looked and yes every time I am on prednisone I get the same restless leg going thank you for your post on the topic, I will be bringing this up with my doc in the morning and will try to post when he gives me an answer.

Hang in there




I've had RLS and Crohn's for decades, and the proper medication for RLS is like a miracle. Leg tremors doesn't sound like RLS though, so you should insist that your doctor treat that symptom, knowing that getting off prednisone is the goal. Prednisone has the worst of all possible side affects the mind and body can conjure up. With at least 20 long term treatments with prednisone, I don't recall ever having any worsening symptoms with the happy feet. But that is just a sample of one.

Get well, get off prednisone as fast as possible.

Cheers, Deke
thanks for your replies. i talked to my doctor about the restless legs, and he said that was another one of the pred side effects. thankfully, i am tapering down now, so i should start to see some major improvement soon. til then, i guess it's just xanax and ambien at night to get some sleep and wait it out!

Cara Fusinato

Sarcastic Forum Comedian
I have had restless legs for a number of years. I heard that it can be triggered by SSRI's which I took some 8 years ago and that's when the RLS started. Could be unrelated though. I am not on pred. so I can't correlate it to that.

I have been on Requip for about a year now for RLS. It is wonderful in stopping the RLS feelings. However, for those thinking of starting Requip, here's a word of advice. You have to ramp up so ask your Dr. for the starter pack which contains smaller doses and helps you ramp up to the dose you need. Second, the stuff makes one VERY drowsy. For me, about 1 1/2 hours after taking it, I MUST go to bed. I actually become nauseous if I do not at least lay down and watch TV or read if I am not actually ready for sleep. However, I usually sleep and it keeps me asleep all night quite well with no grogginess the next day. It's like restless leg and ambien all rolled into one.

So, if anyone who reads this is considering it, it's a med you MUST learn about. You have to plan your bedtime by taking it an hour or so beforehand AND you really have to take the pill near the same time every night. You can keep some 1/2 pills or 1/4 pills around in case you need a little extra boost but don't want to go to bed yet. You WILL NOT be able to drive or work or really function after taking it. However, it really stops the jumpy legs. Just thought I would provide my experience with it.
I have had RLS ever since I was diagnosed and that was four years ago. Prednisone is such a nasty treatment.

Good luck


Hi guys! I know it's been a while since I've been around, but popped by today and saw this post.

I've had RLS since I can remember. As a child, I had to have my mom rub my legs at night so that I could get to sleep. I, too, am on Requip right now, and it IS indeed a miracle drug. I get to sleep at night. Before I started it, the RLS had gotten to the point where it was all the way up into my shoulder, arm, and neck.

YMMV, but unlike Cara, I can pretty well function for a good couple of hours after I take it. Then it feels like I just get sleepy, so I go to bed. Some nights, I'll go to bed only an hour after having taken it. I keep a pretty wacky schedule with my job, so I never know what time I get to take it one day to the next.

All in all, it's been a HUGE relief.

Good to see y'all again!

old hat

I fit all of the criteria for a diagnosis of RLS. I am not sure whether that means anything or not though. I don't remember exactly when it started but it was at least 10 years ago. I have never taken Prednisone or an SSRI. It started some time before I was diagnosed with Crohn's but I had Crohn's for at least 3-4 years before I was diagnosed.
I do not know about relieving RLS as a side effect from a drug, but I do know it can be caused by a Magnesium deficiency.

Lyme disease patients have this sometimes because they are often lacking the proper amount of Mg due to the nature of the disease. It could be possible that Cronies do not absorb this as well as they should. Epsom salt is a good source of Mg and is cheap. May be worth try.

D Bergy
I just found out that my future son in law has a sister with IBS and she found out by accident that Evian water relieved her intestinal cramps. The son in law looked into the ingredients and found out that it all comes from the same source and contained natural magnesium. While I knew Mg was used by runners and others who had muscle cramp problems I never made the connection to stomach cramps and Mg.

I think a Mg supplement would be an easy test for those of you with cramping issues. I may try it also to see if it has any other intestinal related benefits.

Best Regards

D Bergy

old hat

Magnesium deficiency sometimes happens as the result of chronic diarrhea, extensive ileal disease or ileal resection to treat Crohn's Disease. RLS can also be caused by an iron deficiency which is fairly common in people with Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's Colitis.