Tardive Dyskinesia is a destructive condition that causes its victims to suffer involuntary muscle movements such as grimacing, contortions of the mouth, protrusions of the tongue, smacking of the lips, and puckering of the mouth.Tardive Dyskinesia has become a common problem, but it never occurs naturally. Instead, it’s one of the many horrible consequences of a group of drugs called dopamine antagonists, or antipsychotics, which are used as treatment for schizophrenia and other mental health issues.
Although doctors no longer use Reglan (metoclopramide) to treat mental illnesses, it’s one antipsychotic that frequently causes Tardive Dyskinesia. Developed in the 1960s in Europe and approved by the FDA in 1979, Reglan was a disaster in treating mental health issues, but it has found use as a treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly known as GERD.
GERD is a condition in which the contents of the stomach, either food or liquids, leak into the esophagus, which is the tube from the mouth to the stomach. The most common symptoms of GERD are heartburn and acid reflux, which everyone experiences occasionally. When those symptoms become persistent, doctors call the condition GERD, and many of them prescribe Reglan to treat it.
Tardive means a condition that may appear long after a person has stopped using the medication that caused it. The symptoms of Tardive Dyskinesia can begin months or even years after a Reglan victim has stopped using the drug, or one of the other antipsychotic medications.
Dyskinesia means “trouble moving” and victims of this condition lose muscle control in their faces, mouths, necks, hands, feet, and even their abdomens.
People with Tardive Dyskinesia often twitch uncontrollably, and their condition defines their lives. It limits what they can do, and it becomes a social stigma, often trapping them in their homes so that they can avoid the stares that they always encounter.
The symptoms of Tardive Dyskinesia are usually irreversible and there is no known treatment. The use of Reglan is never supposed to last more than 3 months, but many victims report that they have used it for years. And, the effects are cumulative, which means that if a person uses it for 3 months, then stops for 3 months, and then uses it for 3 more months, that’s the equivalent of using it for 6 months.
Although Reglan has FDA approval only for treating problems within the digestive system, doctors also prescribe the drug for nursing mothers who believe that they’re not producing enough milk, for migraine headaches, and for surgical patients.
Regardless of its uses, Reglan is an extremely dangerous drug, and it now carries the FDA’s Black Box warning, which means that Reglan is very likely to cause severe personal injuries and wrongful deaths. The Black Box is the last step before an outright ban of a drug, and many people who have suffered because of Reglan believe that the FDA should have banned it long ago.
Reglan victims report the following:
• Suicidal Thoughts
• Blurred Vision
• Severe Muscle Cramps
• Feeling Like A Zombie
• Constant Crying
These terrible experiences certainly come as no surprise to the researchers at Public Citizen. They exposed the dangers of Reglan in 1988 and again in 1996. Despite those warnings and despite all the reports of Tardive Dyskinesia, doctors wrote 6.5 million prescriptions for Reglan and its generic equivalents in 2008, and the FDA did not require the Black Box until 2009.
When victims of Reglan and generic versions of metoclopramide discuss the damages that they have suffered, 2 common themes arise. The first is, “If I had known what this drug can do, I never would have taken it.”
The second is, “This poison should be banned immediately.”
Reglan is obviously a very dangerous drug, and the companies that sell it are fully aware of the damage that they’re doing.
If Reglan has diminished the quality of your life, contact us. We are specialists in defective and dangerous drug cases. Find out if we can help you.
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