"I took Reglan for about 26 years," Francis says. "I had no breaks while I was taking it; it was a steady diet of Reglan daily. I never knew about side effects until I did some reading about it.
"I was prescribed Reglan for those 26 years. I didn't just take it on my own. I was told, when I first started, that I'd have to take it for the rest of my life. It was prescribed for stomach ulcers; bleeding in the stomach area. Now, you're only supposed to take it for three months at the most. But 26 years ago, I was told it was a lifetime drug.
"A neurologist I went to wouldn't say that I have tardive dyskinesia, but I have severe muscle spasms—they don't know if they're spasms or cramps; I guess there's a difference—but the spasms are painful no matter how you look at it. They're painful and I don't know what's causing them.
"I was at my neurologist no less than three weeks ago and I was having a severe bout of cramping and spasming and he witnessed a 20-minute episode where I was locked up in a kinked-over position in my wheelchair. I couldn't move.
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"I've had it for a long time. I think I first experienced this about 1989 or 1990. It's gotten progressively worse since that time. It is severe now. I'll get a muscle cramp in my abdomen, where I can't even move. I have twitching in my mouth and eyelids. That's not as painful, but the rest of it—the pain is excruciating.
"The problem hasn't improved since stopping the Reglan. I still have cramping periods. It's an everyday thing."