Metoclopramide, sold under the drug name Reglan, is prescribed to patients suffering from gastrointestinal problems, such as slow stomach emptying, nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite. reglanIt is also prescribed for patients suffering from the nausea and vomiting that occurs after chemotherapy or surgery.  Although the drug is effective at treating stomach related illnesses, very serious side effects can occur in those who take Reglan. Side EffectsAlthough most of the side effects for Reglan are relatively minor, such as drowsiness, headache, restlessness and diarrhea, there are several that can be dangerous.  These include confusion, irregular heartbeat, seizures, difficulty breathing or swallowing, thoughts of suicide and depression.  However, Reglan’s link to a potentially devastating illness, known as “tardive dyskinesia” is the most frightening. Tardive Dyskinesia Tardive dyskinesia causes involuntary, repetitive movements of the extremities, lip smacking, grimacing, tongue protrusion, rapid eye movements or blinking, puckering and pursing of the lips, and occasionally, impaired movement of the fingers.  The symptoms are rarely reversible and there is no known treatment for tardive dyskinesia.  This is a potentially devastating side effect of the drug, Reglan, and the manufacturer is required to include a boxed warning on their labels citing that the medication has been linked to the disorder. Chronic Use Should Be Avoided Even though Reglan carries a boxed warning regarding the link to tardive dyskinesia, the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research now contends that chronic use of the therapy should be avoided in all but rare cases in which the benefits far outweigh the risk.  The elderly, especially older women, exhibit the highest risk of developing the disorder, as do those who have taken the drug for extended periods. If you would like more information on how you can protect yourself from products like Reglan, visit us online at

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