Metoclopramide, also known as Reglan has been linked to a variety of serious side effects including the development of Tardive Dyskinesia.
UPDATE: OnFebruary 25, 2009, The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) required the manufacturers of metoclopramide-containing drugs to add a “Black Box” warning to the products warning of an increased risk of the development of Tardive Dyskinesia.
Metoclopramide increases the rate at which the stomach and intestines move during digestion. It also increases the rate at which the stomach empties into the intestines and increases the strength of the lower esophageal sphincter.
Metoclopramide is available in a variety of formulations including tablets, syrups and injections. Names of metoclopramide-containing products include Reglan Tablets, Reglan Oral Disintegrating Tablets, Metoclopramide Oral Solution, and Reglan Injection.
Metoclopramide is used to treat diabetic gastric stasis (slow movement of the stomach), which causes symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn, decreased appetite, and prolonged fullness after eating. It is also used to treat gastric reflux or heartburn (the regurgitation of stomach acid into the esophagus), prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting, prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, facilitation of small bowel intubation, and to facilitate x-ray examination of the stomach and intestines.
FDA Warning on Metoclopramide
Below, is a video published by the U.S. Food & Drug Adminsitration (FDA), which discusses the “Black Box” warning and the increased risk of the development of Tardive Dyskinesia among users of metoclopramide-containing drugs.
Tardive dyskinesia is a neurological syndrome caused by the long-term use of neuroleptic drugs. Neuroleptic drugs are generally prescribed for psychiatric disorders, as well as for some gastrointestinal and neurological disorders.
Tardive dyskinesia is characterized by repetitive, involuntary, purposeless movements. Features of the disorder may include grimacing, tongue protrusion, lip smacking, puckering and pursing, and rapid eye blinking. Rapid movements of the arms, legs, and trunk may also occur. Involuntary movements of the fingers may appear as though the patient is playing an invisible guitar or piano.
Serious Side Effects of Metoclopramide
If you experience any of the following serious side effects of Metoclopramide, seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- uncontrollable movements or spasms of your arms, legs, lips, jaw, tongue, face, or other body part;
- anxiety, agitation, jitteriness, difficulty breathing, or insomnia;
- yellowing of the skin or eyes;
- changes in vision;
- an irregular heartbeat; or
- seizures or hallucinations.
Other Side Effects
Other, less serious Metoclopramide side effects may be more likely to occur. Talk to your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- nausea or diarrhea;
- dizziness, drowsiness, or headache;
- fluid retention (swelling of hands or legs, bloating);
- breast tenderness or swelling;
- changes in your menstrual cycle; or
- increased frequency of urination.
Other side effects than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.