Reglan (Metoclopramide)

Reglan is a drug used to treat heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux in individuals who have used other medications with no relief of symptoms. The generic form of Reglan is Metoclopramide Hydrochloride. Reglan/Metoclopramide is also used to treat slow gastric emptying in people with diabetes (diabetic gastroparesis) which can cause nausea, vomiting, heartburn, loss of appetite and a feeling of fullness after meals.

In some cases, Reglan/Metoclopramide is used to treat pregnant women suffering from morning sickness. Reglan/Metoclopramide is a short-term use drug only and should not be used for more than three months. Use for more than 90 days is not safe!

Prolonged use of Reglan/Metoclopramide can result in a serious movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia. The term tardive dyskinesia was introduced in 1964. Dyskinesia refers to an involuntary movement. The effect of these drugs can be tardive, meaning the dyskinesia sometimes continues or appears even after the drugs are no longer taken.

Tardive dyskinesia is characterized by repetitive, involuntary, purposeless movements. Features of the disorder may include grimacing, tongue protrusion, lip smacking, puckering and pursing of the lips, and rapid eye blinking. Rapid movements of the extremities may also occur. Impaired movements of the fingers may also appear. Tardive dyskinesia is a drug induced anxiety (tardive means it does not go away). Tardive dyskinesia is a common side effect of Reglan use. Tardive dyskinesia is a signature side effect – almost nothing else causes tardive dyskinesia.

On February 26, 2009, the Food and Drug Administration issued an alert warning requiring that the manufacturers of Reglan/Metoclopramide add a boxed warning to their drug labels regarding the risk of long-term or high-dose use. Manufacturers will also be required to implement a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) to ensure patients are provided with a medication guide that discusses this risk. Reglan was never authorized for pediatric use.

If you have been diagnosed with tardive dyskinesia, contact or call toll-free, 1-888-442-7947.

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