Q. I don’t have restless leg syndrome (RLS) or nighttime leg cramps. Rather I have “restless foot,” sometimes in the right foot, sometimes in the left. I can actually feel the energy building up in my foot when it comes on. After about a minute the energy is so great I MUST move the affected foot.
I started to drink tonic water, and it helped me to be able to get to sleep. I’ve never told my doctor about all this because he’d probably prescribe a high-cost med! I’m on a host of other drugs for high blood pressure (metoprolol and Exforge), diabetes (glimepiride), a blood thinner (Aggrenox), a cholesterol med (Tricor) and amitriptyline for diabetic nerve pain. I hope that none of these interacts with the quinine in the tonic water.
A. There is a possibility that the quinine in the tonic water could interact with your blood pressure pills, so you should talk this over with your doctor. Also ask him about pickle juice, as another reader suggests this:
“Drinking three tablespoons of dill pickle juice is a remedy I follow, both for night cramps in my thighs and for twitchy feet. The dill pickle juice works astonishingly fast, within seconds. I keep a jar next to my bed for use only as needed. It has never failed me. Football coaches use it to get a cramping quarterback back in the game right away.”
We discuss several remedies for restless leg syndrome as well as nighttime leg cramps in our Guide to Leg Pain. We suspect that some of the things that work for RLS might work for your twitchy foot as well. Be sure to check with your doctor about whether you are anemic; correcting the anemia frequently reverses restless legs syndrome.
RLS is occasionally caused by a blood pressure pill, nifedipine, that is related to the amlodipine in the Exforge you take. We have been unable to find a link between amlodipine and RLS, however. Nonetheless, this too might be worth discussing with your physician.