Requip (Ropinirole) Prescription and Medicare Coverage

In this article...
  • Learn more about the prescription drug Requip, including what it does and what side effects it might have. You'll also find out whether Medicare covers Requip in our short guide.

Requip is a medication used to treat restless leg syndrome and Parkinson's disease. It's taken as an oral tablet, which can be purchased as the brand name or a generic version. Finding affordable access to prescribed drugs such as Requip is imperative, as they can often help lead to a better quality of life. 

Let's take a more detailed look at some benefits and risks of Requip and how you can get more affordable access to it with certain Medicare plans

What to Know About Requip

Requip contains the active ingredient ropinirole. Its purpose is to reduce the symptoms of restless leg syndrome and Parkinson's disease by increasing the levels of dopamine and other factors in the body. This effect can help reduce symptoms such as muscle spasms, stiffness and tremors. 

The drug comes as either an immediate-release tablet, which is meant to be taken three times per day, or an extended-release tablet, which should be taken once per day. If Requip is prescribed for restless leg syndrome, it typically comes in the immediate-release form. The prescribed dosage is usually set at 1 mg. 

Side Effects

There are a few common side effects that you may experience while taking Requip. Some of these side effects include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Dry Mouth 
  • Sweating
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Shakiness
  • Anxiety
  • Back pain

Some people who take Requip have reported experiencing lower impulse control. If you start to feel strong urges to overeat, gamble, spend money or engage in other harmful habits that are hard to control, it may be best to reach out to your doctor. Urinary tract infections are also a reported side effect of taking Requip. Symptoms of infection include passing urine more often, experiencing pelvic pain or feeling pain or burning while passing urine. 

You should also watch out for any behavior changes, hallucinations, mood changes or signs of low blood pressure. If you start developing symptoms such as dizziness, extreme headaches or changes in eyesight, these could signify signs of low blood pressure. 

Does Medicare Cover Requip or Ropinirole?

Not all Medicare plans cover Requip, but you can find some Medicare Advantage plans or Part D plans that may cover Ropinirole, the generic form of the drug. Medicare Advantage plans that provide coverage for prescription drugs are referred to as Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans (MA-PD) and come with their own drug list, or formulary, that breaks down which drugs are covered by the plan and how they're covered. 

Drug coverage for Requip can vary depending on which plan you have and what's available in your area. People gravitate toward their plan of choice for various reasons. This can be based on quality, price, extra benefits the plan offers or even how trustworthy an insurance provider is. Finding a Medicare plan in your area that meets your preferences and offers the prescription drugs you need can make a difference. 

How Much Does Requip or Ropinirole Cost With Medicare Drug Coverage?

The Medicare option that you have and what coverage stage you're in are usually the two major factors that can determine how much you might pay. 

Deductible Stage

Your deductible is the amount of money you have to pay out-of-pocket before your Medicare plan will begin to cover its share of the cost. During this stage, you're responsible for paying the full cost of your prescriptions. Some Medicare plans offer a deductible as low as $0. As of 2022, the maximum deductible that a Medicare plan can offer is $480.

Copay Stage

Once you meet your deductible, you then enter the initial coverage period. There are two possible forms of payment for prescribed drugs that you may see once you enter the copay stage. One is a copayment, which is a flat fee determined by your insurance plan. If you don't see a copayment, you most likely have a coinsurance plan, which means you pay a set percentage of the total cost of your medication. 

If you're unsure what stage you're in or how much you're expected to pay for prescribed drugs, you can try learning more about the plan or contact the insurance provider. 

Additional Information to Know About Requip or Ropinirole

Is Requip a Muscle Relaxer?

Requip is used to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease or restless leg syndrome that occur in the muscles such as stiffness, tremors, poor muscle control and spasms. The effects of this may help you feel more relaxed overall.

Does Requip Help With Anxiety?

A study that was conducted came to the conclusion that Ropinirole can have an effect on nonmotor symptoms of Parkinson's disease. The drug did seem to improve both anxiety and depressive symptoms in people with Parkinson's disease who participated. If this is an effect of the drug that you are wondering about, it may be worth talking to your doctor about it. 

Is Requip a Pain Pill?

Requip is considered a dopaminergic agent, which means it can give you some of the same effects as dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in certain bodily functions such as movement, pleasurable reward, motivation and memory. Parkinson's disease is associated with low levels of dopamine in the brain, so by taking Requip, you could feel an increase in pleasure. The drug also helps reduce symptoms such as muscle stiffness, tremors and spasms, which can lead to feeling more comfortable. 

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