Supply problems with Parkinson’s drug Requip XL

Hi all,

We have heard that there is a shortage in supply of the Requip XL which may lead to you having difficulties getting hold of this drug.
The company responsible for the manufacture of the  drug, GlaxoSmithKline, expects a normal supply of the 2mg and 8mg Requip XL tablets to resume by early May. However, the 4mg tablet is not expected to be back in supply until early June.
They told us that: “There has been a delay in the availability of an active pharmaceutical ingredient used to manufacture Requip XL.We are aware and regret any impact that this interruption to supply is having on both patients and health care professionals alike. GlaxoSmithKline is working closely with the manufacturer to resolve this problem.”

No need for panic
We spoke to Dr Janine Barnes, a neurology specialist pharmacist who believes that as the shortage shouldn't be too long most larger pharmacies will have enough stock to cover the period.

If you cannot get access to Requip XL there are many direct substitutes that can be used for Requip XL  which include:
• Ralnea XL
• Repinex XL
• Spiroco XL
• Ropinirole modified release

In some cases where people have been specifically prescribed Requip XL, they may need to get a new prescription for ropinirole modified release. This will allow pharmacists to give a substitute for Requip XL should it have run out (please check whether you can get access to the drug before doing this)

If you are concerned about accessing Requip XL, we recommend you speak to your healthcare professional.

If you are having difficulty accessing Requip XL please do let us know so we can keep an eye on the problem. We will let you know as soon as there are any updates



Hi was short on my prescription last week ,went into chemist today to get rest of prescription and they had no requip xl 8mg . Told me to come back next week . 

Have enough for 10 days  .

I'm having problems getting my prescription for Requip XL - the pharmacy isn't sure when it'll be back in stock at the moment. I've emailed the Parkinsons nurse at the local hospital for advice. Best, T

update ... managed to get them today


Got a call from the Pharmacy saying it has arrived today. Phew. Best, T

Thanks both for the update. Really glad you've both been able to get your prescription filled. Do let us know if anything changes.


Thanks again


Apologies, I had misunderstood the message from the pharmacy. It's a different Ropinirole Prolonged-release rather than Requip XL, but all is fine. Best, T

Panicking to tonight as have no more ropinerole XL left for tomorrow . My pharmacy has not managed to get hold of any or a substitute. I've got to see if they arrive tomorrow . Explained to them how important it was to me . Phoned pd nurse but she hasn't got back to me yet so will try her again in morning . Phoned helpline and they were very helpful and gave me some advice . Hopefully will get it sorted out tomorrow . Usually take them at 630 before work do god knows what I will be like in morning . Every time I go into my pharmacy there is a problem with my meds . They have been trying to get the tabs from another chemist . I wish they had let me know it was such a problem . 

Felt really stressed earlier . Felt really out  of control of things . Sometimes people just don't seem to understand or want to try to . 

Hi Maddison,

So sorry to hear you're having an awful time of things. I'm not sure i can give any advice the helpline wouldn't have given other than to say if you are able, do try as many pharmacies as possible yourself. 

I realise this isn't much help but I hope you manage to find something.

Sorry to be the bearer of more bad news but I have received word from the pharmaceutical company GSK that the timelines for a normal supply for the 2mg and 8mg have been pushed back until late May.

We continue to exert pressure on GSK and will not relinquish the pressure on them to return the normal supply as soon as possible.


Hi Leo thanks for your message . I took the morning off work and managed to get some from local hospital . Just felt a bit stressed with it all yesterday . The pharmacy told me to ask at other chemists yesterday which was a bit difficult as I had to go back to work . I started ringing around but wasn't getting far . Hospital came up trumps ! Have a good weekend . 

I have recently received notification from the Practice I am registered with that I am to be supplied with  Repinex instead of Requip as a cost-cutting measure. The Repinex may very well be okay, but I feel more confident and happier being left with a GlaxoSmithKline product. I feel extremely unhappy with the situation!!

Since commenting on my concerns about having my medication changed from Requip XL to Repinex XL I have written to the Practice Pharmascist requesting that I remain on Requip XL.

I am greatly relieved to say that I have been told that I will not be having my medication changed after all !

"If it's not broken why try to mend it" !!




Always trying to save money ,palming people of with generic drugs ,i understand this but why try this on parkinsons patients when we are so sensitive ,they need to learn more about the condition !


Gp practices are now given a budget i believe, so i expect we will get scrutinised our cost % of the £ pot in medication, changing from one to another does have differences in effect I have certainly been able to notice it.

I've added your thought Gus to my long list of things to bring to the table about improving medication management for those with PD!


When I took ropinirol controlled release I tried both Requip from GSK and Spiroco. I found it hard to tell them apart and, if anything preferred the Spiroco. Generics aren't always inferior to the original producer and sometimes save a lot of money. And the NHS hasn't got (and can never have) an infinite budget. So I would suggest people keep a genuine open mind if offered generics, don't assume they are inferior but don't be afraid to go back to your prescriber with evidence if you find a generic doesn't work for you. And sometimes the original is no more expensive than the generics, for example Madopar is more or less the same (low) price as generic cobenaldopa. If you want to know the prices paid for drugs by the NHS go to: It's interesting how expensive some drugs are and how cheap others are. Cheers AndrewJohn


what im on works for me, what i was on didn't. and that was generic.

i pressed your link it doesnt seem direct.

I did look a month or two back elsewhere, roche madopar 62.5 9p a pill, 125 13p cant rem if it was 175 or 225 19p, somehow  i don't think i'll loose sleep over what compares to the daily cost of a school dinner, when a mp has a 36 quid breakfast.

If you've never had your parkinsons drugs changed to a generic you may well think people are moaning about nothing ,my meds got changed from sinemet to generic co- caradopa & it really did have a big impact on me having just got my dbs settings right & also my meds ,it took me weeks to get it right again also the stress of sorting it out to get the brand name meds back.I do understand nhs have got to save money, i also have glaucoma and they changed my eye drops to a generic & that was fine ! . All im saying is people with pd are very sensitive to medication , if gps,or pd nurses suggested a change i would have no problem in trying generics if you had choice of changing back to the brand name drug,its just the way they go about it.

I completely agree with what you just wrote Gus. :)

Has anyone had problems with Spiroco XL 8mg. There is currently a shortage of Ippinia and I have had been given Spiroco and Ralnea. After taking the Spiroco for a day I started having chronic migraine attacks and hallucinations. Is this just a coincidence or is there a potential problem with the generic medication?