I have restless legs and a tendency to sniff and lick my lips all the time. Why?

Q. Does medication for ADHD cause restless legs, urge to sniff, and lick lips?

Answered by
Dr. Ashok Kumar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 25, 2023 and last reviewed on: Aug 01, 2023

Hello doctor,

Last month, I had restless legs constantly even while resting, I feel the need to sniff all the time and lick my lips as I am getting accused of taking drugs, and it is embarrassing. I also feel a lump in my throat so keep trying to clear it, I do try not to do it when people are around but the urge drives me mad. I have had these symptoms for a few years but never as frequent as this, so I never thought it was anything that needed to be checked out but for over a month ago my legs were really bad at night and then got more frequent and now it is all the time, and my lips are really red, swollen may be sored from licking them. My legs go crazy even when I am in bed with my feet up and it causes sores. I did look up the symptoms and read that long-term use of Flupentixol can make symptoms worse. I had my dose of 12 mg daily for about two to three months, and I also have ADHD, psychosis, bipolar, borderline personality disorder, anxiety, and severe depression. The other medications I take are Procyclidine 10 mg daily, Venlafaxine MR 150 mg daily, Mirtazapine 45 mg daily, and Atomoxetine 60 mg daily. I am not able to sleep for days and the more tired I get the more of them and I do those things. I look like a mess and cannot face people and it is my family accusing me of taking drugs but I would not risk it with mental health disorders. What do you think it could be? Kindly help.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I read your query and understand your concerns. From the description, it is almost impossible to delineate the exact cause for repeated sniffing and licking lips. To be frank the very symptoms can be part of anxiety, can be a side effect of antipsychotics such as Flupenthixol (Betadex, Lactose Monohydrate), can be an obsessive component, and can be a symptom of psychosis among others. I suggest having a detailed discussion with your psychiatrist and sorting this out. This is essential as we need to establish temporal correlation and make out the likely cause for the problem. I understand that this is an exhaustive process but I do not think it is possible to single out the likely cause without much effort. I hope I have cleared all your doubts.

Thank you.

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