The gastrointestinal drug Reglan has been associated with tardive dyskinesia, an untreatable ailment characterized by involuntary and often debilitating movements of the muscles, generally affecting facial muscles and the extremities.
A “black box” warning has been mandated for Reglan by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which noted the ingredient metoclopramide can cause repetitive movements such as grimacing, head jerking, lip smacking, puckering and rapid eye blinking.
Most at risk for contracting tardive dyskinesia from Reglan are long-term users and the elderly, especially elderly women. But even infants, some treated with Reglan for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), can develop infant tardive dyskinesia.
If you or a loved one used Reglan and suffered tardive dyskinesia, you should contact a Reglan attorney today. Kline & Specter, PC, with some 30 attorneys, a team of whom are also highly regarded doctors, provides free evaluations for potential Reglan lawsuits.
A black box warning is the strongest required by the FDA. The agency noted that more than two million people take Reglan, many for heartburn and acid reflux. It is also prescribed to treat diabetic gastroparesis. The medication can be taken by pills, oral disintegrating tablets, oral solution and injection.
Reglan can cause tardive dyskinesia even after discontinuing use, the FDA said in its February 2009 warning urging that chronic use of Reglan “should be avoided in all but rare cases where the benefit is believed to outweigh the risk.” Reglan works by speeding movement of the stomach muscles to more quickly empty the contents of the stomach into the intestines.
The FDA said development of tardive dyskinesia is “directly related” to the length of time a patient takes Reglan. The agency noted that metoclopramide is recommended for use no longer than three months, but an analysis showed that about 20 percent of patients use the drug longer.
While some patients may see symptoms of tardive dyskinesia lessen or resolve over time, that is rarely the case and there is no known treatment of the ailment. In addition to causing involuntary muscle movement, other side effects of Reglan are reported to include seizures, depression, suicidal thoughts and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
Contact a Reglan attorney now.
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