The prescription drug, Reglan, used to treat gastrointestinal conditions in children and adults, is under investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Also known by the generic name, metoclopramide, the drug has been linked to Tardive Dyskinesia, an involuntary muscle movement commonly found in the face or tongue, as well as body extremities.
Tardive Dyskinesia is a permanent and severe condition that affects the central nervous system and leads to involuntary, repetitive movements of the face and extremities. The symptoms may be reduced or eliminated if the patient stops taking Reglan for gastrointestinal problems, however, there is currently no effective treatment for the disorder.
Symptoms and signs of Tardive Dyskinesia include:
- Facial grimacing
- Repetitive chewing
- Jaw swinging
- Tongue thrusting
- Involuntary movements of the extremities
- Lip smacking, pursing, and puckering
- Rapid eye movements or blinking
- Impaired movement of the fingers.
The development of Tardive Dyskinesia is directly related to the length of time a patient has been taking Reglan and the number of doses taken. Reglan is approved to be taken in short-term in periods of no longer than three months, however, many patients have been prescribed the medication for a year or more. Currently, the prescription drug is available in the form of tablets, oral disintegrating tablets, oral solutions, and injections.
It is estimated that more than two million people in the U.S. currently use products containing metoclopramide. Those at the greatest risk include the elderly, especially older women, and people who have been taken the drug for a long time.
If you are taking Reglan or metoclopramide, you should consult with your physician before making any changes or discontinuing taking the medication. Decision about when to start or stop taking a medication should be made in consultation with your physician.
And if you or a loved one has suffered any side effects related to Tardive Dyskinesia while taking the gastrointestinal drugs, contact the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein today for a free and confidential consultation. You may be entitled to compensation.
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