Reglan Tardive Dyskinesia: An Overview

J. Cooper Carlisle | September 7th, 2011 | Posted in Reglan Lawsuit News

Many patients have contacted a Reglan lawyer because they believe drug manufacturer Wyeth failed to sufficiently warn them about the risks of developing the neurological disorder, Reglan tardive dyskinesia. Could uncertainties surrounding the diagnosis of Reglan tardive dyskinesia negatively impact the prognosis for Reglan lawsuits?

What Is Reglan Tardive Dyskinesia?

Reglan tardive dyskinesia is an involuntary movement disorder that has been at the center of the majority of Reglan lawsuits. Symptoms include uncontrollable spasms of the legs and arms, facial grimacing, rhythmic protrusions of the tongue, smacking and puckering of the lips, rapid fluttering of the eyes, and uncoordinated spasms of the fingers that resemble the playing of a piano.

Reglan lawsuits a response to tardive dyskinesia

As a Reglan lawyer knows, tardive dyskinesia was first diagnosed over 50 years ago, but the exact cause of the disease is still not clearly understood. Scientists’ best guess so far is that it is the result of drug-induced hypersensitivity of dopamine receptors in the brain. Reglan, a heartburn and acid reflux drug also known as metoclopramide, manages various gastrointestinal disorders by controlling the dopamine receptors for the digestive system.

Reglan tardive dyskinesia black box warning

Tardive dyskinesia can also be caused by antipsychotic medications, also known as neuroleptics, such as Haldol or Thorazine. When caused by neuroleptics, tardive dyskinesia can develop after years of steady use. However, metoclopramide use can lead to Reglan tardive dyskinesia within only 3 months. As a result, the FDA currently approves Reglan use for a maximum of 12 weeks. In 2009, partly in response to the growing number of Reglan lawsuits filed by a Reglan lawyer, the FDA ordered drug maker Wyeth to put its strongest “black box” warning on the side effects label of the drug, alerting patients and doctors to the risk of Reglan tardive dyskinesia.

Reglan Lawsuits Must Distinguish TD from Tourette’s

Because it shares many outward symptoms with Tourette’s Syndrome, Reglan tardive dyskinesia can sometimes be misdiagnosed as that more well-known disorder. It is also sometimes misdiagnosed as mental illness, and as a result treated with the very antipsychotic drugs that have been known to cause and/or exacerbate Reglan tardive dyskninesia.

Patients Report Other Neurological Reglan Side Effects

Other Reglan side effects that have been reported to a Reglan lawyer include another dopamine receptor disorder, called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Reglan lawsuits have been brought by patients who have experienced symptoms of NMS, such as muscle stiffness, movement problems and hallucinations. Other potential Reglan side effects include secondary Parkinsons symptoms, akathisia, blepharospasm, severe anxiety and depression, agitated restlessness, insomnia, and paranoia.

No cure for Reglan tardive dyskinesia

There is no known cure for Reglan tardive dyskinesia. Treatment is often limited to simply discontinuing or phasing out use of Reglan. Symptoms of Reglan tardive dyskinesia may continue for months or years after patients stop using metoclopramide , and may never go away.