Reglan Side Effects Can Lead to Lifetime Disability

Seth Harris | May 2nd, 2012 | Posted in Reglan Lawsuit News

Medication-induced movement disorders have long been associated with psychiatric drugs like Thorazine, but medical professionals have become increasingly concerned over similar disorders associated with Reglan side effects. Reglan tardive dyskinesia (TD) is among the many conditions linked to the use of metoclopramide, the active ingredient in Reglan and similar gastrointestinal medications for the treatment of nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and acid reflux disease.

Awareness of Reglan tardive dyskinesia growing

The condition is characterized by involuntary and purposeless hyperkinetic movements that can affect the entire body or isolated muscle groups. In addition to Reglan tardive dyskinesia, the drug has been associated with mood disorders, seizure, and jaundice. Many individuals injured by the drug have filed Reglan lawsuits.

Recognizing Reglan TD

Even for trained medical professionals, it can be difficult to recognize the symptoms of Reglan TD. Because some movement symptoms are initially subtle, the early stages of the disability may go unnoticed, especially in children. Common symptoms of tardive dyskinesia, all of which are involuntary and beyond the individual’s control, include:

  • Facial tics (grimacing, tongue protrusion, eyebrow raising, lip smacking, and jaw locking)
  • Rapid finger movements
  • Difficulty walking
  • Muscle spasms
  • Flailing limbs
  • Eye blinking and rolling
  • Vocal tics (grunting, vocal cord spasms)

These symptoms may vary during the course of the day, and they generally abate or disappear during sleep. For some individuals, the symptoms worsen with stress. Tardive dyskinesia is often physically uncomfortable, but it is also socially stigmatizing. The psychological burden endured by sufferers of can be considerable.

Treatment of Reglan tardive dyskinesia

Movement side effects that develop early during the use of medications like Reglan (called extrapyramidal side effects) can often be successfully treated by removing the patient from the offending drug. Such early-onset cases tend to resolve quickly and completely.

Reglan tardive dyskinesia, however, is markedly a late-onset condition, often appearing after months of trouble-free medication usage, or even after the patient has stopped using the drug. If side effects such as tardive dyskinesia persist for six to twelve months, they are considered permanent.

There is no singularly effective cure for Reglan tardive dyskinesia, though some therapies can reduce the severity of symptoms, and other symptoms may diminish with time. Due to the permanent and debilitating nature of the condition, many individuals who developed symptoms after using metoclopramide have filed Reglan lawsuits.