Restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movements during sleep probably associated with olanzapine

Seung Gul Kang, Heon Jeong Lee, Leen Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


We report five cases of restless legs syndrome (RLS) and periodic limb movements during sleep (PLMS) that were probably associated with olanzapine. The first patient showed a good response to olanzapine, but the RLS symptoms associated with olanzapine resulted in poor long-term compliance, eventually leading to frequent relapse of psychotic symptoms. The second patient exhibited sudden PLMS following olanzapine injection. The third patient had been suffering from serious akathisia while on risperidone, and was cured after switching to olanzapine, but thereafter the patient suffered from RLS at nighttime. The fourth patient showed RLS symptoms that were initially caused by a 20-mg daily olanzapine dosage and were later mitigated when olanzapine was reduced and ropinirole was administered. The fifth patient exhibited paraesthesia and agitation caused by olanzapine that was misdiagnosed as psychotic agitation. Increasing the olanzapine dosage severely aggravated the symptoms of RLS. Antipsychotic-induced RLS and PLMS are not well-recognized side effects of antipsychotics, with the symptoms often misdiagnosed as psychotic agitation. These cases also suggest that the occurrence of RLS can cause noncompliance with antipsychotics in psychiatric patients, and thus aggravate their psychotic symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-601
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Psychopharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jul


  • Antipsychotics
  • Olanzapine
  • Periodic limb movements during sleep
  • Restless legs syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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