Philadelphia Reglan Attorneys
Reglan Tardive Dyskinesia
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitors prescription medication side effects to ensure that the general public is protected against debilitating ailments that may result from a certain drug’s use. Unfortunately, despite the fact that medications are supposed to be thoroughly tested and retested by their manufactures prior to release to the general public, many individuals still fall victim to prescription drug side effects before any sort of warning can be issued by the FDA. Reglan, known by the generic name metoclopramide, is a gastrointestinal disorder medication that has been associated with the onset of tardive dyskinesia, and, despite a FDA Reglan black box warning mandated in 2009, still continues to harm those who use the drug for an extended period of time greater than three months.
What is Tardive Dyskinesia
Tardive dyskinesia is a movement disorder directly linked to prolonged Reglan use. The condition is characterized by involuntary and/or repetitive movements, sometimes manifesting itself through lip smacking, rapid eye movement, or tongue protrusion. Unfortunately, side effects associated with tardive dyskinesia are typically irreversible, affecting an individual for the remainder of his or her life. According to the FDA, Reglan and metoclopramide use is the most common cause of movement disorders such as tardive dyskinesia.
Reglan, manufactured by Alaven Pharmaceutical, is supposed to be a short term medication use to treat gastroesophageal reflux (GER), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and diabetic gastroparesis. It is ill advised to take the medication for more than a three month period, yet physicians continue to prescribe it despite FDA warnings. Additionally, the medication has also been documented as being used to treat the above mentioned conditions in newborns, despite the fact that such treatment was never approved by the FDA. Like with adults, Reglan use in newborns can lead to tardive dyskinesia, and potentially plague newborns for the rest their lives.
Reglan directly affects the stomach muscles, speeding up the movement of muscle contractions in order to increase how quickly digested food is emptied into the intestines for further digestion. Digestive problems such as these are commonly referred to as heartburn, which many individuals suffer from each and every day throughout the United States. Though previous warnings on Reglan’s label did warn of the onset of tardive dyskinesia, those labels did not warn that extended Reglan use and the size of the dose prescribed are both major determinants of whether or not an individual is likely to develop the debilitating condition. Those who have been taking the drug for an extended period of time, particularly the elderly, and more specifically elderly women, are at greater risk of becoming afflicted with tardive dyskinesia.
Other Reglan Side Effects
In addition to tardive dyskinesia, there are a variety of other detrimental side effects that extended Reglan use can lead to. In addition to involuntary muscle movement, Reglan use has been known to lead to the onset of seizures in some individuals, an especially problematic side effect for epileptic users of the drug. In some cases, symptoms commonly associated with Parkinson’s disease can begin presenting themselves in patients using Reglan, while other individuals may simply experience difficulty sleeping, restlessness, and/or agitation. In rare cases, Reglan has even been associated with symptoms commonly associated with liver disease, including both nausea and jaundice.
Menstrual changes may occur in female users of Reglan, while male users may suffer from gynecomastia (development of breasts) and impotence. Furthermore, the heart condition known as tachycardia (abnormally rapid heartbeat) is also associated with Reglan, as are both hypertension and hypotension. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome, a life-threatening neurological disorder, has also been associated with the use of Reglan, and is characterized by muscle stiffness, fever, and even delirium.
Contacting a Philadelphia Reglan Lawyer
If you suffer from tardive dyskinesia or any other movement disorder or side effect, and you believe that Reglan use may have played a determining factor, please don’t hesitate to contact the Philadelphia pharmaceutical liability attorneys at Cherry Injury Law. Call 610-565-0300 today for more information and a free consultation of your Reglan injury case.
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