Reglan, known generically as metoclopramide, is not meant to be used for longer than three months. Some patients, however, took it for years as a way to prevent the onset of GERD. Those patients are at a higher risk of developing tardive dyskinesia.
Tardive dyskinesia is marked by involuntary, repetitive movements that can occur at any time, making it difficult for patients to carry out day-to-day activities. For example, pouring or even carrying a cup of coffee can be difficult and dangerous if the patient's hand is constantly jerking. This same problem makes it difficult for some patients to continue their employment.
Many patients report they are embarrassed by the constant jerking motion and involuntary facial movements, which can include lip smacking, pursing and grimacing, tongue protrusion and rapid eye blinking.
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Furthermore, some infants may have been given Reglan to treat digestive problems. It is not currently known how safe Reglan is for infants or what dose is safe to administer to newborns.
Tardive dyskinesia has sometimes been misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease. Patients may have developed Reglan side effects but were given an incorrect diagnosis, and therefore may not realize that their health problems could be linked to their medication.