Minnesota Woman Develops Reglan Tardive Dyskinesia

Seth Harris | June 7th, 2012 | Posted in Reglan Lawsuit News

A lawsuit filed on May 29, 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota alleges that Reglan (metoclopramide) caused permanent neurological injuries to a Minnesota resident. Marilyn Abicht reportedly began taking Reglan pursuant to her doctor’s prescription in 1998 as a treatment for her pancreatitis and esophageal reflux. From 2002 to 2008, she took a generic version of the drug manufactured by Pliva, Inc. In September of 2008, Abicht visited her dentist, who reportedly noticed a change in her speech, as well as unusual involuntary jaw and eyelid movements.

Number of Reglan lawsuits continues to grow

Shortly thereafter, Abicht was examined by a neurologist who diagnosed her as suffering from Reglan tardive dyskinesia caused by her long-term use metoclopramide. Tardive dyskinesia is a severe and often permanent movement disorder.

According to her Reglan lawyer, Abicht had never been warned that prolonged use of Reglan could cause significant and permanent neurological damage to the central nervous and extrapyramidal motor systems. Had she known of the risks, she asserts, she never would have taken the medication.

Reglan lawsuits hinge on failure to warn of debilitating side effects

Reglan is designed as a short-term therapy for nausea, reflux, and other gastrointestinal problems. Medical professionals now agree that Reglan should not be used for durations of longer than 12 weeks due to the risk of adverse side effects. According to Abicht’s lawsuit, however, from 1980 until 2004 the label for Reglan did not limit the duration of use, and instead misleadingly suggested that it was safe and effective to use Reglan for extended periods.

In 2004, the FDA required the addition of a warning notice in bolded type indicating that “Therapy with Reglan should not exceed 12 weeks in duration.

While this warning was printed on the label of brand-name Reglan, it was allegedly not included on the generic version produced by Pliva, the defendant in Abicht’s suit.

While suits against generic manufacturers have become more challenging in the wake of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision PLIVA, Inc., v. Mensing, Ms. Abicht’s Reglan lawyer maintains that because the Pliva labels differed from the brand-name label during the time that Abicht used Reglan, the decision does not bar her claims for compensatory and punitive damages. Court watchers will likely follow this case closely as it moves through the pretrial process.