Reglan (metoclopramide) is a prescription drug used to treat gastrointestinal disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). While Reglan has helped thousands reduce symptoms of heartburn, nausea and vomiting, the drug has received a black box label—the FDA’s strongest warning.
In Feb. 2009, the FDA sent a letter advising the manufacturers of Reglan to update the drug’s warning label to include the risk for tardive dyskinesia, a serious movement disorder. Tardive dyskinesia is a neurological condition that can be caused by long term use of neuroleptic drugs including Reglan. While Reglan should only be prescribed for 4 to 12 weeks, many doctors have been advising patients to take the drug for significantly longer periods. Because doctors were uninformed of the long-term effects of Reglan, patients were unknowingly putting themselves at risk for a serious, sometimes irreversible disorder.
Tardive dyskinesia can be identified by repetitive, involuntary and purposeless movements. Patients experiencing tardive dyskinesia may exhibit symptoms such as:
- Tongue protrusion
- Puckering or pursing of the lips
- Rapid eye blinking
- Lip smacking
- Rapid movements of the fingers, hands, arms, legs and shoulders
In serious cases of tardive dyskinesia, patients may have difficulty breathing, swallowing, walking and talking. Unfortunately, no treatment exists for tardive dyskinesia and its symptoms are often irreversible.
Because doctors were unaware of the dangers of long-term Reglan use, and the label did little to explain its association with tardive dyskinesia, the manufacturer can be held liable for their negligence. If you or a loved one has developed tardive dyskinesia while using Reglan (or shortly after continuing its use), you may be eligible for a lawsuit. Fill out our free case evaluation form today to hear from a Reglan attorney near you.