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Warnings for Reglan Tardive Dyskinesia Need to be Stark

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Washington, DCIt's hard to imagine the devastation of Reglan side effects on a person. Indeed, the term "side effects" is so overused in today's pharmaceutical drug industry that people tend to get desensitized to it. But in the case of Reglan tardive dyskinesia, simply dealing with it is something else again.

You can't hide or deny tardive dyskinesia (TD), a condition characterized by involuntary movements that threaten your job, your social life, your livelihood. For some, the only recourse is to seek financial aid through a Reglan lawsuit.

There's no hiding from tardive dyskinesia. The involuntary movements associated with TD take no prisoners. Lip-smacking, tongue-thrusting and over-the-top movement of the jaw, even intense blinking can make co-workers uncomfortable. A retail worker responsible for catering to customers will soon find himself relegated to the back room. An individual operating heavy machinery will no longer be in a position to do so safely if her limbs move involuntarily.

And there are other adverse reactions, including in infants whose mothers have been prescribed Reglan to trigger lactation. Reglan Malignant Syndrome is a serious neurological affliction that is sometimes fatal.

So are the Reglan warnings enough? They certainly are strongly worded, and should be so, according to blogger Jonathan Rosenfeld.

"Clearly, TD is not a minor side effect," Rosenfeld wrote on 8/31/10. He noted that the Reglan warning as outlined on the US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health website pulls no punches:

"Taking metoclopramide may cause you to develop a muscle problem called tardive dyskinesia," the warning states. "If you develop tardive dyskinesia, you will move your muscles, especially the muscles in your face in unusual ways. You will not be able to control or stop these movements. Tardive dyskinesia may not go away even after you stop taking metoclopramide. The longer you take metoclopramide, the greater the risk that you will develop tardive dyskinesia. Therefore, your doctor will probably tell you not to take metoclopramide for longer than 12 weeks.

"The risk that you will develop tardive dyskinesia is also greater if you are taking medications for mental illness, if you have diabetes, or if you are elderly, especially if you are a woman. Call your doctor immediately if you develop any uncontrollable body movements, especially lip smacking, mouth puckering, chewing, frowning, scowling, sticking out your tongue, blinking, eye movements, or shaking arms or legs."

Reglan tardive dyskinesia is hardly something you can "work through" while keeping the rest of your life intact.

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