I received an e-mail today regarding a “new” prokinetic gastroparesis drug called “Metozolv”. I was thinking of even writing to the company behind it(Salix) to thank them for researching new drugs to treat gastroparesis. However, my jubilation was cut short upon further research I find that this is merely a new brand name for the same drug that is on the market now, called “metoclopramide HCI“. I know metoclopramide by the name of Reglan during my battle with gastroparesis. Reglan carries a “black box” warning from the FDA, which is the strongest warning a drug can carry. This is in relation dangerous side effects known as Tardive Dyskinesia. Reglan has been subject to a lawsuit due to these side effects.
What really angers me is the drug domperidone(also known as Motilium) has been proven to be much safer, but has failed to be marketed or approved for distribution in the United States. You can get it from a compounding pharmacy only if your doctor is willing to write the proper prescription. Most doctors aren’t willing to write a specific prescription for this task as it’s too much hassle and they like to live inside their safe bubble, even if their safe bubble means giving patients unsafe drugs. I tried with my doctor and he was much more willing to prescribe me Zelnorm as an alternative to Reglan. Zelnorm has actually been recalled due to adverse side effects! It’s main purpose was for IBS-C(constipation) where the patient is female. Firstly I am a male. Secondly the drug had problems where it apparently would cut off circulation to the intestines for some people.
Hopefully there will be further research done to improve treatments for gastroparesis sufferers. It would be nice if there really was a company out there blazing a new trail rather than trying to make money off of a dangerous drug.