Health Canada is strengthening the required side effect warnings on prescriptions of Reglan so that they include more information regarding the likelihood of someone developing debilitating Tardive dyskinesia.

Reglan is the brand name of the drug Metoclopramide which has been used for decades to as an anti-emetic & prokinetic drug. Health Canada is the department which sets health policy within Canada. Health Canada has come out with stronger warnings regarding the major side effect of Tardive dyskinesia. The new warnings will now be required for all prescriptions of Reglan.

Here are the new warnings.

  • Tardive dyskinesia may develop in patients treated with metoclopramide. The elderly, especially elderly women, appear to be at increased risk.
  • The risk appears to increase with treatment length and the total amount of drug taken.
  • Tardive dyskinesia is more likely to be irreversible with long-term treatment (over 12 weeks).
  • Less frequently, tardive dyskinesia can develop with short term treatment at low doses; in these cases, the symptoms are more likely to disappear either partially or completely over time, once treatment has been stopped.
  • Tardive dyskinesia may not be easy to recognise in its early stages.
  • Metoclopramide treatment beyond 12 weeks should be avoided, unless the benefit is judged to outweigh the risk.

In 2009 United States’ FDA finally gave Reglan a “block box label” which greatly strengthened the warning labels accompanying it, though Reglan was under labeled for decades before this occurred.

If you are in Canada you should insist on Domperidone(Motillium) before ever taking Reglan. Those in the USA unfortunately don’t have a pharmaceutical alternative, though I’d suggest Iberogast to anyone before trying Reglan.

Reglan is often prescribed to people who have functional gastrointestinal motility disorders(FGIMDs). The problem with Reglan is that has never been deemed safe for long term use & even short term use can lead to side effects. For as long as it’s been on the market, it’s manufacturers have downplayed the risk & severity of it’s side effects. It’s most notable side effect is the previously mentioned Tardive dyskinesia. Tardive dyskinesia manifests itself as tremors & loss of motor control. The symptoms of Tardive dyskinesia are very similar to those found in Parkinson’s Disease. In some cases Tardive dyskinesia is acute & will disappear after Reglan is stopped, while in others the condition remains chronic & permanent.

Please check out my other article Supreme Court’s Reglan Ruling Detrimental To Patient’s Rightswhich talks about the physical and legal dangers of taking Reglan, especially if you’re in the USA & are taking a generic version.

Health Canada release.