Prevalence of Parasomnias and Restless Leg Syndrome in Patients taking Psychotropic Medications (Antidepressants and Antipsychotics): A Cross-Sectional Hospital-based Study





parasomnias, restless leg syndrome, antidepressants, antipsychotics

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  • Priyaranjan Avinash Depatment of Psychiatry, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Sangatiya Walakhur, Uttarakhand, India
  • Robin Victor Depatment of Psychiatry, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Sangatiya Walakhur, Uttarakhand, India
  • Twinkle Sharma Depatment of Psychiatry, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Sangatiya Walakhur, Uttarakhand, India.


Introduction: Parasomnias and restless leg syndrome (RLS) have often been linked to antidepressant and antipsychotic drug use. Most of the information in this area is available in the form of case reports and systematic studies comparing both these disorders across various antidepressants and antipsychotic medication is limited.
Aim: To compare the prevalence of RLS and different parameters of parasomnias among various classes of psychotropics (antidepressants and antipsychotic medication).
Methods: A total of 112 subjects between the age of 18 to 60 years participated in this study and were selected by convenient sampling method based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Subjects were divided into two groups one which had been prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and another group was prescribed non-SSRI (which includes SNRI, TCA, NaSSA and antipsychotics) for the past three months and above in adequate dose. Subjects were diagnosed as having RLS as per DSM 5 criteria and parasomnias was assessed using the Munich parasomnia screening questionnaire. Data was tabulated and appropriate statistics were applied.
Results: About 24.1% of the study subjects had RLS. Most of the patients on SSRI (80.4%) and non-SSRI (72.1%) did not have RLS which was statistically significant while proportion wise higher number of patients in the non-SSRI group had RLS (27.9%) as compared to the SSRI group (19.6%). On estimating parasomnias, we found that 82.1% of the subjects had rhythmic foot movement followed by nocturnal leg cramps (33.9%). Various types of parasomnias were higher in the non-SSRI group as compared to the SSRI group which was statistically significant (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Most of the subjects on SSRI and non-SSRI drugs did not have RLS but proportion-wise non-SSRI drugs have higher odds of causing RLS as compared to SSRI. Also, non-SSRI drugs have a higher probability of causing various types of parasomnias

How to Cite

Avinash, P., Victor, R., & Sharma, T. (2024). Prevalence of Parasomnias and Restless Leg Syndrome in Patients taking Psychotropic Medications (Antidepressants and Antipsychotics): A Cross-Sectional Hospital-based Study. Indian Journal of Behavioural Sciences, 27(01), 16–22.


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