Generic name: Metoclopramide hydrochlorideBrand names: Reglan
Reglan increases the contractions of the stomach and small intestine, helping the passage of food. It is given to treat the symptoms of diabetic gastroparesis, a condition in which the stomach does not contract. These symptoms include vomiting, nausea, heartburn, feeling of indigestion, persistent fullness after meals, and appetite loss. Reglan is also used, for short periods, to treat heartburn in people with gastroesophageal reflux disorder (backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus). In addition, it is given to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy and surgery.
Reglan may cause mild to severe depression. If you have suffered from depression in the past, make sure your doctor is aware of it. Reglan may not be the best drug for you.
Reglan is usually taken 30 minutes before a meal. If you suffer from heartburn that occurs only intermittently or only at certain times of day, your doctor may want you to schedule your Reglan therapy around those times.
You will probably take Reglan for only 4 to 12 weeks. Continuous treatment beyond 12 weeks is not recommended.
If you have diabetic "lazy stomach" (gastric stasis) that tends to recur, your doctor may want you to take Reglan at the first sign of a recurrence.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Reglan.
In addition, Reglan may cause symptoms similar to those of Parkinson's disease, such as slow movements, rigidity, tremor, or a mask-like facial appearance.
Especially in older people, Reglan may produce tardive dyskinesia, a syndrome of jerky or writhing involuntary movements, particularly of the tongue, face, mouth, or jaw. In children and adults under 30, Reglan may cause involuntary movements of the arms and legs, and sometimes loud or labored breathing, usually in the first day or two of treatment.
Reglan may cause intense restlessness with associated symptoms such as anxiety, agitation, foot-tapping, pacing, inability to sit still, jitteriness, and insomnia. These symptoms may disappear as your body gets used to Reglan, or if your dosage is reduced.
Do not take Reglan if you are sensitive to it or have ever had an allergic reaction to it.
You should not take Reglan if you have a condition such as obstruction, perforation, or hemorrhage of the stomach or small bowel that might be aggravated by increased stomach and small-bowel movement.
If you have pheochromocytoma (a nonmalignant tumor that causes hypertension), do not take Reglan; it could trigger a dangerous jump in blood pressure.
Do not take Reglan if you have epilepsy; it could increase the frequency and severity of seizures.
If you are taking a drug that is likely to cause side effects such as tremors, jerks, grimaces, or writhing movements, do not take Reglan; it could make such symptoms more severe.
Reglan is not recommended for patients under 18 years of age.
If you have Parkinson's disease, you should be given Reglan cautiously or not at all, since the drug may make your Parkinson's symptoms worse.
Because Reglan may make you drowsy and impair your coordination, you should not drive, climb, or perform hazardous tasks until you know how the medication affects you.
Use Reglan with caution if you have high blood pressure. Be careful, too, if you have cirrhosis or congestive heart failure. Under these conditions, Reglan may cause fluid retention and heart problems. If this happens during the first few weeks of Reglan therapy, you'll have to stop taking the drug.
If Reglan is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Reglan with the following:AcetaminophenAlcoholic beveragesAntispasmodic drugsCimetidineCyclosporineDigoxinInsulinMAO inhibitor antidepressantsLevodopaNarcotic painkillersSleeping pillsTetracyclineTranquilizers
If you take insulin for diabetes, your insulin dosage or dosing schedule may have to be adjusted while you are taking Reglan.
The effects of Reglan during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Reglan should be used during pregnancy only if it is clearly needed. Reglan appears in breast milk. Your doctor may recommend that you discontinue Reglan while you are breastfeeding your baby.
If symptoms occur only intermittently or at specific times of the day, your doctor may give you a single dose of up to 20 milligrams as a preventive measure.
Symptoms Associated with Diabetic Gastroparesis or Gastric Stasis
The usual dose is 10 milligrams 30 minutes before each meal and at bedtime for 2 to 8 weeks.
Relief of Symptomatic Gastroesophageal Reflux
Older adults may need only 5 milligrams per dose.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.