Gender differences in the association between antidepressant use and restless legs syndrome

Authors

  • Kristin R. Baughman PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, Rootstown, Ohio, USA
    • Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, 4209 State Route 44, Rootstown, OH 44272===

    Search for more papers by this author
  • Claire C. Bourguet PhD,

    1. Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, Rootstown, Ohio, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Scott K. Ober MD, MBA

    1. Community Outpatient Services, Louis B. Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
    2. Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Potential conflict of interest: Dr. Ober is the recipient of an unrestricted research grant from Pfizer Pharmaceutical Corporation.

Abstract

Contradictory results have been reported for the association between antidepressant use and Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). Our aim was to clarify the relationship and examine possible gender differences. We interviewed 1,693 veterans receiving primary care from the Cleveland VA Medical Center and obtained prescription drug information from their medical records. Overall, use of an antidepressant was associated with RLS for men (RR = 1.77, CI = 1.26, 2.48) but not for women (RR = 0.79, CI = 0.43, 1.47). Analyses of individual antidepressants revealed an association between RLS and fluoxetine for women (RR = 2.47, CI = 1.33, 4.56), and associations between RLS and citalopram, (RR = 2.09, CI = 1.20, 3.64), paroxetine (RR = 1.97, CI = 1.02, 3.79), and amitriptyline (RR = 2.40, CI = 1.45, 4.00) for men. We conclude that RLS may be associated with antidepressant use, but the association varies by gender and type of antidepressant. Antidepressant use is more strongly associated with RLS in men than in women. © 2009 Movement Disorder Society

Ancillary