Reglan is used to treat acid reflux disease, heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that Reglan may cause significant harm if used over the long term. Cancer patients also have been prescribed Reglan to counter nausea resulting from chemotherapy. Some pregnant women have used Reglan to treat morning sickness.
Reglan Linked to a Movement Disorder
Metoclopramide (an ingredient in Reglan) has been linked to the movement disorder tardive dyskinesia, a condition that causes uncontrollable, repetitive movements of the body. The following are some symptoms of tardive dyskinesia include (but are not limited to):
- Lip smacking
- Puckering and pursing of the lips
- Rapid eye movements or blinking
- Tongue protrusion
- Rapid movements of the fingers, arms, legs and trunk
Tardive dyskinesia symptoms are rarely reversible, and no known treatment exists. Reports also have linked Reglan to the potentially fatal condition neuropleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Symptoms that can appear within two weeks of first taking the drug include sweating, high fever, stupor, unstable blood pressure, muscular rigidity and autonomic dysfunction.
FDA: Reglan Must Carry ‘Black Box Warning’
The FDA requires that metoclopramide-containing drugs carry a black box warning about the risks linked to Reglan. Manufacturers of metoclopramide-containing drugs must ensure that patients receive a medication guide that details the risks of the drug each time they receive this medication from a pharmacy.
More than 2 million Americans have used metoclopramide-containing products, according to the FDA. Metoclopramide is contained in Reglan Tablets, Reglan Oral Disintegrating Tablets, Metoclopramide Oral Solution and Reglan Injection.