Sounds like 'row-PIN-uh-roll'

Key points about ropinirole

  • Ropinirole is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
  • Ropinirole is also called Ropin.
  • Find out how to take it safely and the possible side effects.
blue unaunahi tile generic
Print this page

Ropinirole is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, or Parkinson-like symptoms such as tremor, shakiness, stiffness and difficulty moving. Ropinirole works by helping to restore the balance of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that helps to control movement.

Ropinirole is also used to treat restless legs syndrome. It helps to reduce the urge to move your legs and the unpleasant feelings you get with restless legs syndrome. 

In Aotearoa New Zealand ropinirole is available as tablets in different strengths: 250 microgram, 1 mg, 2 mg and 5 mg.

  • The dose of ropinirole is different for different people.
  • You will be started on a low dose and, depending on your response, your doctor will increase your dose to control your symptoms.
  • For Parkinson's disease: ropinirole is usually taken 3 times a day.
  • For restless legs syndrome: ropinirole is taken once a day, about 2–3 hours before bed. When you start ropinirole for restless legs syndrome, your symptoms might get worse at first. If this happens tell your doctor, as changing the dose can help.
  • Always take your ropinirole exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much ropinirole to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

  • Timing: Take your ropinirole at the same times each day. You can take ropinirole with food, or just after a meal. Try taking ropinirole with food if it causes nausea (feeling sick). 
  • Missed dose: If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take two doses at the same time.
  • Keep taking ropinirole regularly. Do not stop taking ropinirole without talking to your doctor. Stopping ropinirole suddenly may cause fever, fast heartbeat, muscle stiffness, sweating, confusion and other symptoms.
  • Interactions: Ropinirole can interact with some medications, herbal supplements and rongoā Māori, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting ropinirole and before starting any new products.

Like all medicines, ropinirole can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Feeling or being sick (nausea)
  • This is common when you first start taking ropinirole
  • Take your doses after food.
  • Falling asleep suddenly during daily activities (such as talking on the phone, or driving)
  • This sleep effect can occur without any feelings of drowsiness beforehand, and can happen anytime during treatment with this medication
  • Tell your doctor
  • Do not drive or use tools until you know how this medicine affects you and until these have stopped happening
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Feeling dizzy or faint when you stand up (due to a sudden drop in blood pressure)
  • Be careful when getting up from either lying down or sitting, to avoid falls
  • Tell your doctor.
  • Impulsive types of behaviour or intense urges that are difficult to control such as binge eating, gambling and increased sexual urges 
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline 0800 611 116
  • Uncontrollable jerky movements, where you switch suddenly from being able to move to being immobile (unable to move)
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline 0800 611 116
Did you know that you can report a side effect to a medicine to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)? Report a side effect to a product(external link)

The following links provide further information on ropinirole. Be aware that websites from other countries may contain information that differs from Aotearoa New Zealand recommendations.

Ropinirole(external link)  Patient Information New Zealand Formulary 
Ropin(external link) Medsafe Consumer Information Sheet
Impulse behaviour,(external link) Parkinson's UK 


Ropinirole(external link)(external link) NZ Formulary
Ropin(external link)(external link) Medsafe, NZ
The management of Parkinson’s disease – which treatments to start and when?(external link)(external link) BPAC, NZ, 2014
The night time hustle – managing restless legs syndrome in adults(external link)(external link) BPAC, NZ, 2012 

Free helplines

Healthline logo

Text 1737 Helpline logo

Logo with link to Māori Pharmacists website

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist, Healthify He Puna Waiora. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

Reviewed by: Maya Patel, MPharm PGDipClinPharm, Auckland

Last reviewed:

Page last updated: