Lawsuits have been filed against the maker of Reglan—known as metoclopramide in generic form—alleging that patients were not adequately warned about the risk of tardive dyskinesia, a serious and potentially permanent condition characterized by repetitive involuntary movement. These movements include lip smacking and puckering, grimacing, tongue protrusions and movements of the arms and legs.
Although Reglan was approved for short-term use for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease, acid reflux disease and heartburn, some patients were prescribed Reglan for a year or longer. Furthermore, Reglan is sometimes prescribed off-label to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease in infants. The effect of Reglan on infants has not been fully studied, however, and its potential side effects are not fully known or understood.
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The warning was requested by the FDA in February 2009—approximately a year and a half ago. For many patients who developed tardive dyskinesia, the time to speak to an attorney is fast approaching. In many states, the statute of limitations on such lawsuits runs out after two years.
Once a patient has spoken with attorney, the attorney still must gather facts and evidence in the case, including the patient's medical records, which can take time to obtain.
Patients who took Reglan for longer than three months and were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease or Parkinson-like symptoms may also be eligible to file a lawsuit, as tardive dyskinesia can be misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease.