Reglan is a brand name for the metoclopramide drug, a powerful antiemetic that has been used for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), migraines, heartburn as well as a condition known as gastroparesis where food moves too slowly through the digestive system. Reglan is the only drug approved to treat gastroparesis. Vomiting and nausea experienced during pregnancy and chemotherapy can also be treated by Reglan. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1980 and was marketed by A.H. Robins, now Wyeth, which is owned by Pfizer. The FDA approved this drug for a short-term treatment of stomach ailments (4 to 12 weeks).
Reglan is considered as a dopamine antagonist and can cause a condition like Tardive Dyskinesia. This condition is observed in patients who have been prescribed this medication for a longer period of time. People with Tardive Dyskinesia have difficulty controlling their bodies and are prone to have random, repetitive movements that can be mild or physically disabling. Till date, tardive dyskinesia has no known treatment. However, the only positive sign is that once the treatment is discontinued the effects of the side effects and symptoms may lessen or even resolve.
A complication, which is an uncommon but potentially fatal condition known as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) is associated with metoclopramide. Symptoms of NMS include fever, muscle rigidity, altered consciousness, irregular pulse or blood pressure, tachycardia, diaphoresis and cardiac arrhythmias. Immediate discontinuation of metoclopramide is necessary to treat this condition.