Reglan Side Effects and Lawsuits

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Reglan is the brand name of a drug currently being prescribed for a number of diseases and conditions.  The generic name is metoclopramide, and it can be found in a few other products used for the treatment of digestive tract disorders.  It is part of a group of drugs called dopamine receptor blockers.  However, there can be serious side effects for those who take Reglan for an extended period, up to and including a disorder called tardive dyskinesia, which can become a permanent condition.  The FDA has approved the use of Reglan, although it has recently ordered that packages include a warning label.

Reglan Uses and Dosage

Reglan is generally prescribed for gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, that do not respond to more conventional and less potent treatments.  It is intended to aid digestion by accelerating the rate at which the stomach empties into the intestinal tract.  It can be used to treat such conditions as:Heartburn

  • Acid reflux
  • GERD
  • Diabetic gastro paresis (slow digestion resulting from diabetes)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme fullness after meals 

Those who have been using Reglan for a prolonged period of time and stopped taking it abruptly have found serious Reglan withdrawal symptoms, as well.  From anxiety and restlessness, to difficulty sleeping, depression, and even suicidal thoughts, Reglan produces severe Reglan withdrawal symptoms.

Reglan can be administered in a number of forms, including tablets, injections, oral solutions, and oral disintegrating tablets.  Reglan can be effective in limited dosage; however, if the patient takes additional Reglan doses because of the relief it brings, it can increase the side effects.

Additional Uses for Nausea

Reglan is also a solution commonly prescribed for various forms of nausea.  Because it accelerates the digestive system, it can alleviate nausea in a number of conditions, including:

  • Morning sickness
  • Motion sickness
  • Chemotherapy nausea
  • Nursing mothers
  • Children and infants
  • Migraine sufferers who experience nausea

Reglan Side Effects

Reglan has occasional side effects such as fatigue, restlessness, dizziness, nausea, irritability, and depression.  Those who use Reglan for longer than three months, and certainly more than 12 months, have been found to suffer from tardive dyskinesia, which is the most debilitating side effect of reglan.  It has been found in 27 to 29 percent of long-term users.  Tardive dyskinesia is a neurological disorder that produces involuntary movements in patients, including:

  • Facial grimaces
  • Rapid eye blinking
  • Uncontrolled movement of the extremities and trunk
  • Repetitive chewing
  • Tongue thrusting
  • Jaw swinging

There is currently no treatment for tardive dyskinesia, and patients who suffer from these involuntary movements may face a lifetime of consequences.  However, in some cases, they have been known to subside on their own over a period. Studies show that Reglan is safe for a short-term use; however, those using it for 4 to 12 months may experience these serious side effects.  The FDA is now adding a black box warning to the label of Reglan packages, indicating the possible side effects for long-term use. 

Can you file a Lawsuit?

In some patients, the symptoms of withdrawal or side effects do not appear immediately.  Once they do, patients should consult their doctor immediately and learn if there is any treatment available.  In addition, they should consult an attorney to learn their options for compensation.  Because the consequences are not found in all users, no class action lawsuits have currently been filed.  However, individual cases are appropriate under certain conditions.  However, there is a statute of limitations in most states on such product liability lawsuits, so consult an experienced attorney quickly to learn your options.

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