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Reglan Side Effects Can Run the Entire Demographic Spectrum

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Houston, TXFor various reasons, Reglan side effects run across the entire demographic spectrum. Reglan tardive dyskinesia, which is the involuntary movement of tongue, eyes and other facial muscles, as well as limbs and appendages, is usually associated the elderly, following a lifetime of medicinal use. But Reglan can affect people at any age, including newborns and those at the height of their careers.

Reglan was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1979 for short-term treatment of gastrointestinal issues. The recommended length of treatment is no longer than three months. Due to the ongoing nature of gastrointestinal disorder for numerous people, Reglan use has extended beyond the three month safety window for many—and today Reglan is considered the leading cause of tardive dyskinesia among patients with the disorder in the US.

Last year the FDA issued a black box warning for Reglan—30 years after it was approved—noting the link to tardive dyskinesia.

Women and the elderly are considered at highest risk for tardive dyskinesia. However, anyone at any age can experience the involuntary movements associated with the disorder—and for young people or those in their middle years, such a condition can affect their lifestyle, career and livelihood.

YouTube features dozens of heartbreaking videos of tardive dyskinesia patients, mostly of the elderly. However, among the videos of old men and women gumming and twitching uncontrollably are representations of young women and men at the peak of their careers exhibiting similar movements. One can imagine that an employee whose physical deportment degrades to include lip chewing or movement, tongue thrusting, excessive blinking and repetitive chewing may be in danger of losing their job. Participation in social activities is often severely curtailed as a result.

Reglan side effects in infants are a recent concern, given that the drug has been trending increasingly higher for use with premature infants. Critics of Reglan use for infants cite the lack of any significant research on the affects of metoclopramide (Reglan) on infant populations. The fact that it has been present in the market for 30 years has led doctors to trust Reglan and prescribe it off-label for a variety of conditions—a mistake, say critics, when Reglan side effects could potentially stay with the children for the rest of their lives.

It was recently revealed that a motility agent widely used in neonatal units for premature infants was pulled from the market for safety reasons about a decade ago. The 5/3/10 issue of PR Newswire did not identify the motility agent or the reason for the safety concerns.

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