Requip is a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1997 to treat motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Requip is also referred to by its drug name, ropinirole.
Requip is not suitable for use in people who have previously shown hypersensitivity to ropinirole. Requip must be used with caution in people with psychotic disorders, high or low blood pressure, sleep disorders, or problems with the heart, kidney or liver, or a history of alcohol addiction. Requip may not be appropriate for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Requip is a member of a class of drugs called dopamine agonists. Requip is believed to work by imitating the action of dopamine in the brain.
Some medications are available both as generic and branded products. Although generic and branded formulations of a drug contain the same active ingredients at the same concentrations, your body may react differently to different formulations. Check with your doctor before switching between drug brands or between generic and branded drugs.
How do I take it?
Requip comes in extended-release and regular-release tablets. If you are prescribed the extended-release Requip tablet, take it once a day. If you are prescribed the regular-release Requip tablet, take it three times a day. Take Requip at the same time or times each day. Always swallow Requip whole. Do not chew, split, or crush Requip tablets.
Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Requip. Alcohol can increase the intensity of some side effects.
Smoking makes Requip less effective. Inform your doctor if you start or stop smoking while taking Requip.
Avoid driving or operating machinery while using Requip.
Do not stop using Requip suddenly. If you decide to stop using Requip, form a plan with your doctor for gradually tapering off your dosage to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Requip.
In a 2002 article, researchers reviewed the results of three clinical trials testing the effectiveness of ropinirole (Requip) as a monotherapy for treating certain motor symptoms of early Parkinson’s disease. Participants were treated with either ropinirole, Levodopa/carbidopa, Bromocriptine (no longer available in the United States), or a placebo. The authors concluded that Ropinirole is effective at treating resting tremor, but not significantly more effective than the placebo at treating postural/action tremor.
Common side effects of Requip include nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, constipation, low blood pressure, dizziness upon standing, fainting, anxiety, memory problems, drowsiness, loss of appetite, weight changes, sleep problems, back pain, sexual dysfunction, difficulty or pain during urination, increased frequency of urination, fluid retention, sweating, headache, pain, swelling, or tingling in the extremities, dry mouth, and joint pain. Tell your doctor if these side effects become worse.
Rarely, dopamine agonists such as Requip may contribute to the development of serious lung or heart valve problems including pleural effusion, retroperitoneal fibrosis, or cardiac valvulopathy. These conditions may or may not resolve after you stop taking the drug.
Inform your doctor immediately if you experience trouble breathing, a fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat, rigid muscles, muscle cramps, fever, chest pain, agitation, hallucinations, impulsive or psychotic behavior, slurred speech, or seizures while taking Requip.
Many drugs can cause allergic reactions that in the most serious cases, can result in death. Seek immediate medical help if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling in the face, throat, eyes, lips, or tongue.