Reglan is a prescription drug that treats short term heartburn or diabetretic gastroperesis (digestive disorder in which the stomach does not contract). It works by increasing the contractions of muscles in the upper digestive tract, which raises the rate of gastric emptying. In turn the stomach empties food to the intestines more quickly, and patients are given relief from heartburn. It is only used for short term heartburn and should never be taken for longer than twelve weeks.
Reglan has been linked to tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movements of the extremities.) It may also cause a serious movement disorder that includes uncontrollable movements of the eyes, lips, tongue, face, arms, or legs. These effects may cause users physical harm or unwanted circumstances in social settings. Research suggests this may be caused by metoclopramide, a substance found in Reglan. The risk of adverse effects is greater in older adults, women, and diabetics. Risk is also increased as length of usage increases.
Many victims have filed personal injury claims against the manufacturer of the drug. Reglan was issued a “black box” warning in 2009, an FDA mandate that requires Reglan’s manufacturer to highlight the risk of tardive dyskinesia in a boxed warning on the drug’s label. There are currently a number of lawsuits regarding the use of Reglan, claiming that the drug causes serious and irreversible side effects. There are lawsuits on the rise in both California and Pennsylvania. In November of 2012 a new lawsuit rose in San Francisco, where plaintiffs Wilma and Gordon Hellwig sought for relief via a short form complaint that joined various complaints already pending in court. Most victims of Reglan side effects are seeking compensation based on claims of tardive dyskinesia, while others claim the drug causes side effects such as cervical dystonia, blepharospasm, or neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Each of these involves involuntary movements experienced by the sufferer.