Thursday, May 14, 2009

Excessive Gambling and Sexual Urges?

Last night I was enjoying TIVO - catching up on several TV programs I had missed during the past week. The beauty of TIVO is you can skip the commercials that ordinarily demand your absolute attention and, subsequently, turn us into zombie-like consumers. During a trip to the kitchen (okay, so I gave into a commercial for popcorn), I overheard an ad for Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).

At first I was numb to the agony of such an affliction, but what really drew my attention was the list of side effects for the medication recommended to ease the symptoms. There were the usual: nausea, headaches and dizziness. But, as the announcer continued listing the side effects talking as fast as he could so maybe you wouldn't catch exactly what he was saying, I was dazed and confused.

  • "You may fall asleep without warning during daily activities such as driving." If texting drivers aren't bad enough, now we have to worry about those behind the wheel with RLS?
  • "If you have urges that lead to pathological gambling and/or excessive/inappropriate sexual activity, contact your physician at once." This one leaves me half-tempted to visit a local casino to conduct a poll of couples leaving together. I'd give them my best in-the-name-of-medical-research posture and, with all the seriousness I could possibly muster, ask, "Excuse me, are either of you currently taking medication for RLS?".
  • "Hallucinations." Hallucinations? Yes, the FDA has approved this medication. Can you imagine the patients that participated in the test studies? "Legs, what legs?". "I can fly!".
I returned to watching The Cho Show and empathized with Margaret during the episode about her writer's block; however, her attempt to relieve this type of block with a colonic is nothing I've ever considered when I've needed to get past my blocks. Anyway, my mind kept drifting back to that commercial and the side effects listed. Just what is in this medication and how does it relate to the treatment of RLS? Watching the TIVO-ed ad over and over wasn't answering my questions. It was time for me to conduct my own independent research.

RLS is a severe and often disabling neurological disorder which afflicts 10-15% of the general population due to dopaminergic abnormalities. The medications for treating RLS contain dopamine. Of course, it's dopaminergic drugs that bring on these unwelcomed (or welcomed) side effects according to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ.

So, as you're trying to sleep and your legs are performing a smashing rendition of Michael Flatley's River Dance, the medication could possibly trick your mind into believing that you are much better off falling asleep at the throttle when attempting to land your Buick at the casino for slots and sluts.


  1. Interesting. Likely. I happen to like the local slots and sluts though.

  2. So this RLS drug can give me an excuse for behaving like I would normally behave anyway? I think I feel my legs getting a little tingly. Restless, you might say.

  3. Funny you should mention...Last night my friends and I were laughing at this disease. Clearly, its very tragic!

  4. There's a name for everything now. Hell, I'm not an uncaring douchebag, no, I have Compassion Deficit Disorder.

  5. So if I Hallucinate that I'm havin kinky sex would that be like a half assed version of virtual reality?

  6. I've got a feeling RLS (we've all suffered jimmy legs before) was just an excuse to produce a drug that make you gamble as a side effect.

  7. I always found this ad terribly silly, it was to me thousands of dollars spent on what was perhaps normal know now its more like everything you feel has a cure! But clearly there are people who suffer from it..

  8. I don't know how restless my legs are, but I do know that there are no such things as TIVO or DVR here in France. But then again, they aren't as commercial happy as we are in the states. And their commercials still fascinate me because, well, they're in French. Someday, I hope to be bitching about their commercials because I can finally speak freakin' French! Then I'll wish I had become the French DVR/TIVO queen. Business Opportunity!

  9. OH CRAP! I have RLS.. I did not know about the gambling side affects. I can just see me bouncing my leg while playing blackjack and being thrown out cause they think I am counting cards or just a freak!

    Thanks for the warning

    WOW.. instead of medication I can do what the word verification word suggested.. "shinties"

  10. Great post. I pride myself on being free from judgment but I always wrote off RLS as a made up disease for people who have a lot of pin up energy. To bad all medicines have tone of side effects. The reason we here about it know is because there are many lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies so they need to make sure that you know every possible side effect know to mankind.

    Damned if you do damned if don't.

  11. Those drug ads are stupid and I suspect make our drugs cost more. I think there was a regulation against TV drugs until sometime in the 90's.

    Here's a great one for tequila
    best side effects ever


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