Reglan (metoclopramide) is a type of drug commonly prescribed to treat heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in patients that have not responded to other prescriptions. Reglan may also be used to treat slow stomach emptying in diabetics, to treat post-operative nausea and vomiting, and for other uses related to increasing the rate that the stomach empties. While Reglan provides relief for many patients, it may cause some patients to develop tardive dyskinesia, a type of muscle problem.
After years of reports of patients developing tardive dyskinesia (a repetitive and involuntary muscle movement) after taking Reglan on a long-term basis, the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ordered manufacturers of Reglan and its generic form metoclopramide to add a “black box” warning to the label. The FDA’s strongest warning, the Black Box label indicated the drug’s link to tardive dyskinesia.
Many patients who develop tardive dyskinesia experience repetitive and involuntary movements of their arms and legs; lip smacking, puckering or other lip or mouth movements; tongue thrusting; head jerking; facial grimacing; and rapid blinking. Patients may also suffer additional serious side effects:
- Depression (including thoughts of suicide)
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Fast, slow or uneven heartbeats
- High fever
- High-pitched sounds while breathing
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- Jittery feeling
- Mask-like appearance of the face
- Muscle stiffness
- Seizure (convulsion)
- Speech problems
- Swelling/fluid retention
- Tightening, tremors, or restless muscle movements in the eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck of the muscles
- Vision problems
Patients harmed by Reglan may wonder how manufacturers could have failed to sufficiently research the safety of Reglan, to notify the public and the physicians about potential dangerous side effects associated with long-term use, and to provide warnings to consumers about potential side effects identified as early as 1995.
The symptoms of tardive dyskinesia are nearly impossible to reverse, as there is no treatment. If you or a loved one took Reglan or metoclopramide and developed tardive dyskinesia, you may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer. For more information, call 1-800-BURNETTI.
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