Metoclopramide (Reglan) Side Effects, Tardive Dyskinesia

Metoclopramide (Reglan) is a drug used to treat intestinal disorders, including diabetic gastroparesis. Metoclopramide is what is known as a "prokinetic" drug that works by stimulating stomach and intestinal muscles reduce the time the stomach takes to empty into the intestines.

Common metoclopramide side effects include drowsiness, restlessness, fatigue and insomnia, and depression. An even more severe side effect is the development of acute movement disorders, sometimes referred to as extrapyramidal syndromes (see "Tardive Dyskinesia, Reglan Side Effect" below).

Though recommended treatment is for fewer than three months, more than two million Americans use Reglan products. FDA study data shows that nearly 20 percent of patients take metoclopramide medications for longer than three months.

Tardive Dyskinesia, Reglan Side Effect

Tardive dyskinesia is a medical term for involuntary movements (dyskinesia), often repetitive, that are brought on by, and often last beyond the taking of, a drug (tardive). Tardive dyskinesia often mimics the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, including spasming, awkward postures, grimacing, and other involuntary muscle movements.

Prevalent in tardive dyskinesia brought on as a Reglan side effect is the involuntary puckering/pursing of lips and sticking out of the tongue.

While tardive dyskinesias are not uncommon in schizophrenic and bipolar patients taking antipsychotic medication for extended periods, FDA officials have recently identified metoclopramide (Reglan) as the most common cause of drug-induced movement disorders.

There is no known treatment or cure for Reglan-caused tardive dyskinesia. Antiparkinsonism agents have no reported effect. In some cases, the condition may be lessened or disappear after metoclopramide (Reglan) treatment is discontinued.

Reglan-Caused Tardive Dyskinesia, Increased Risk Factors

Medical studies report that the development of tardive dyskinesia has a direct relation to duration and dose of metoclopramide (Reglan) taken. Stated simply, the more Reglan a patient is given, and the longer he or she is given it, the greater the likelihood that the patient will develop tardive dyskinesia.

Studies also report incidences of tardive dyskinesia are higher in females and the elderly, with elderly women having an elevated likelihood of developing the disorder. Additionally, nicotine users, especially cigarette smokers, and African-Americans appear especially vulnerable, even at low doses and short durations.

Our Nashville law office is actively pursuing Reglan injury cases in Tennessee and select cases in neighboring states. For a free consultation, call 1.800.705.2121. Or take legal action by completing Higgins Firm's Reglan injury form.