Reglan Tardive Dyskinesia
The FDA has issued a black box warning for Reglan and other metoclopramide-containing drugs, which are most commonly used to treat acid reflux. Reglan's black box warnings states that long-term use or high doses can lead to tardive dyskinesia, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary movements of the face and extremities. Patients suffering from tardive dyskinesia may experience symptoms including grimacing, rapid eye blinking and difficulty walking. Unfortunately, these symptoms are nearly impossible to reverse, as no treatment exists for tardive dyskinesia.
Reglan - Metoclopramide
Reglan is the brand name for the generic Metoclopramide, a prescription drug used to treat gastrointestinal disorders, including:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Acid reflux disease
Reglan (metoclopramide) has also been prescribed for women who are pregnant and experiencing morning sickness, people undergoing cancer treatment, infants and children, and post-operative patients. Reglan tablets, Reglan oral disintegrating tablets, metoclopramide oral solution, and Reglan injections are all ways in which the drug may be administered.
Recent Reglan lawsuits have claimed that pharmaceutical companies were aware of the side effects of Reglan, but did a poor job at explaining these risks. Many doctors were unaware that Reglan and other metoclopramide drugs are not intended for long-term treatment. Because physicians did not know the risk of long-term Reglan use, patients were prescribed the drug month after month. For instance, one FDA study shows that approximately 20 percent of patients took metoclopramide-containing drugs for longer than three months.
Side Effects of Reglan
Research has shown that 1 in 4 patients that take Reglan for a year or more may develop symptoms of tardive dyskinesia. The risk of developing tardive dyskinesia depends on the dose and duration of the treatment. Also, infants and the elderly seem to have the highest risk. In addition to tardive dyskinesia, Reglan side effects include neuroleptic malignant syndrome, a potentially deadly condition that causes fever, changes in blood pressure, muscular rigidity and autonomic dysfunction.
Metoclopramide speeds up the movement of the stomach muscles, which increases the rate at which the stomach empties into the intestines. Reglan and other metoclopramide drugs are prescribed to patients suffering from acid reflux, diabetic gastroparesis, and diabetic gastric stasis. These drugs are only intended to be used no longer than three months.
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