Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology

Restless Legs Syndrome: Associated with Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety Disorder But Not with Antidepressant Use


Department of Psychiatry, SANKO University School of Medicine, Gaziantep, Turkey

Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2022; 32: 125-133
DOI: 10.5152/pcp.2022.21307
Read: 191 Downloads: 102 Published: 01 June 2022

Background: The current study primarily aimed to investigate whether the prevalence of restless legs syndrome differs in patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder or anxiety disorder without antidepressant use compared to control group. Secondly, the study sought to examine whether there was a difference in restless legs syndrome prevalence among patients on antidepressant treatment compared to control subjects.

Methods: Five hundred patients who were diagnosed with anxiety disorder or major depressive disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5)-5 criteria without a history of antidepressant treatment were included in the study (group 1). Group 2 consisted of 500 patients diagnosed with anxiety disorder or major depressive disorder and on antidepressant treatment who were identified as being in complete or partial remission via psychiatric interview based on DSM-5 criteria. Five hundred age- and sex-matched subjects without any mental illness were included in control group (Group 3).

Results: Among all participants, restless legs syndrome was diagnosed in 101 (6.73%) individuals. There were no significant differences in age, gender, smoking status, marital status, and education level between those with or without a diagnosis of restless legs syndrome (P = .209, P = .519, P = .227, P = .508, P = .676, respectively). Restless legs syndrome was diagnosed in 65/500 (13.0%) group 1 patients, 16/500 (3.2%) group 2 patients, and 20/500 (4.0%) control subjects, with a significant difference among the groups (P < .001). The prevalence of RLS diagnosis did not significantly differ among patients receiving different antidepressant drugs (P = .965).

Conclusion: Antidepressant use was not found to be a risk factor for restless legs syndrome. Our study presents important data on the close association of anxiety disorder, especially major depressive disorder with restless legs syndrome.

Cite this article as: Yılbaş B, Öztürk Hİ. Restless legs syndrome: Associated with major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder but not with antidepressant use. Psychiatry Clin Psychopharmacol. 2022;32(2):125-133.

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