Restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder of sleep are now recognized as prevalent, distinct, yet overlapping disorders affecting all age groups. Although delineation of the mechanisms underlying these disorders continues to be the focus of very intense research efforts, it has become apparent that there is a prominent role for dopaminergic agents in the clinical management of these patients. Among the various dopaminergic drugs, ropinirole has undergone relatively intense and critical scrutiny, and appears to provide a safe and efficacious treatment option for patients with these two conditions. The more recent development of a controlled formulation for this drug is likely to yield additional benefits such as improved adherence and reduced fluctuations in daytime and nighttime symptoms. However, there is not enough evidence at this time to support such assumption.