Pathological gambling plus hypersexuality in restless legs syndrome: a new case

Neurol Sci. 2011 Aug;32(4):707-9. doi: 10.1007/s10072-011-0605-5. Epub 2011 May 13.


Emerging clinical data indicate that dopaminergic agonists used to treat restless legs syndrome may be associated with dopamine dysregulation syndrome, particularly pathological gambling. We report a new case with pathological gambling plus hypersexuality and impotence in an old patient treated with a small dose (0.18 mg daily at bedtime) of pramipexole for restless legs syndrome for 5 months. The time relationship and the resolution upon discontinuation of dopaminergic agonists suggest a causative association. Our new case confirms that restless legs syndrome patients should be cautioned about potential dopamine dysregulation syndrome coinciding with dopaminergic agonists, as it can be reversed by drug withdrawal.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Benzothiazoles / adverse effects*
  • Benzothiazoles / therapeutic use
  • Dopamine Agonists / adverse effects*
  • Dopamine Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Erectile Dysfunction / chemically induced
  • Gambling / chemically induced*
  • Gambling / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Paraphilic Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Paraphilic Disorders / psychology*
  • Pramipexole
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / complications
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / psychology*


  • Benzothiazoles
  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Pramipexole