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Reglan Tardive Dyskinesia Sufferer: "I'm Angry"

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Reno, NVLaura Tennant is angry that she wasn't informed about the potential side effects of Reglan, despite the fact they were known at the time the medication was prescribed to her. "I'm angry because I appear to be suffering from permanent central nervous system damage associated with the prescribed drug Reglan (brand name for metoclopramide) prescribed over a year ago for a digestive disorder," she wrote in the Reno Gazette-Journal on May 13, 2009.

"I'm mostly angry because I wasn't informed of side effect possibilities, which were known."

When the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated a black box warning for metoclopramide (Reglan), the agency urged the medical community to inform patients.

Tennant received one of those letters. "I received a letter dated April 30 from my GI's office noting the FDA has placed a Black Box Warning on Reglan, explaining, it's possibly linked 'with the development of a condition known as tardive dyskinesia, a permanent condition that's untreatable.' Why didn't my gastroenterologist warn me? Why didn't he give me a choice? Why, when I called him noting I was having tremors, did he recommend I cut the dosage in half? Why did I have to insist on an appointment to discuss my failing health?"

Tennant reports that she didn't even realize she was smacking her lips—a common trait associated with tardive dyskinesia—until a family member brought it to her doctor's attention. "I thought a gland was overproducing saliva. At that time, the doctor said: 'You are allergic to Reglan—don't take it again.' It was too late to stop some lip smacking and other disorders.

"Today, there are sores on my tongue, lesions inside my mouth, and inflamed gums because they are constantly being irritated by my wiggling tongue. Although my perplexed dentist writes prescriptions to help, it's nerve racking."

She writes that an acquaintance, prescribed Reglan for digestive disorders, was admitted to hospital within 12 hours of her first dose of metoclopramide.

Reglan is approved by the FDA for short-term use only (four to 12 weeks), after which the risk for tardive dyskinesia spikes. However, the adverse reaction can emerge any time within the aforementioned window of safety. Additionally, 30 percent of patients suffering from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), heartburn and acid reflux disease take Reglan for 12 months or longer, which increases the risk of tardive dyskinesia.

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READER COMMENTS

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I was never told about the side effects... but have been treated for essential tremors . I had been on Reglan for several years and developed the tremors. They were so bad , at times, that I could not lift a cup of coffee to my lips or a fork of food to my mouth. I am angry also, that I was not told about this condition that can result from the use of reglan. I moved to Florida and my present Doctor took me off of reglan saying that he had read disturbing reports about Reglan... but he too, did not reveal to me the reports when I asked. why was I kept in the dark ???

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