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Reglan (Metoclopramide) and its Severe Complications

Doctors and clinicians readily prescribe the drug Reglan whenever ordinary medicines fail to treat nausea and gastrointestinal failures like gastroparesis and heartburn (indigestion or tummy ache). Reglan, the drug’s brand name (its generic counterpart is called metoclopramide), increases intestine and abdominal tightening or movement. It can be injected into the patient to help detect stomach and/or intestinal problems and to stop vomiting, a probable result after taking anticancer medicines.

On February 26, 2009, Reglan was directed by the FDA to display a warning on its labels on the risks connected to taking the drug for a prolonged period or at high doses. The warning may be summarized as:

  •  a connection between the continuous consumption of Reglan or metoclopramide and Tardive Dyskinesia has been traced.
  •  at the slight sign of Tardive Dyskinesia, treatment should be stopped; and,
  •  Reglan should never be taken for more than 3 months or 12 weeks and in large doses, excepting extremely rare cases where the risks are outweighed by the benefits.

Tardive Dyskinesia, which usually affects diabetics and the elderly, more so elderly women, is a disabling neurological condition that involves repetitive and uncontrolled muscle movements. Specifically these are quick movements of the trunk, legs, arms and fingers, rapid blinking or eye movements, pursing, puckering and smacking of lips, tongue protrusion and grimacing. Reglan has many other serious complications, fatal ones even, such as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS). The symptoms common to NMS include muscular rigidity, stupor, unstable blood pressure, sweating and high fever; these symptoms are usually apparent during the first two weeks of using the drug.

Reglan is also prescribed to other patients to treat nausea due to pregnancy or migraine heachache, morning sickness and lactation stimulation. It is also necessary that you inform your doctor of any condition or illness you might have and of your other drug or herbal intake before taking Reglan.

Patients affected by these complications suffer physically, mentally and emotionally. Their social life is likewise highly affected. This gives patients more reason to bring those responsible to justice by filing a Reglan lawsuit. Suffering from Tardive Dyskinesia or NMS is no light matter; act to seek justice today.