Reglan

Generic Name: Metoclopramide

  • What is Reglan?

    Reglan is used in adults for 4-12 weeks to relieve heartburn symptoms associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) when certain other treatments do not work. It relieves daytime heartburn and heartburn after meals. It also helps ulcers in the esophagus (tube that connects the mouth and stomach) to heal.

    Reglan is also used to relieve symptoms of slow stomach emptying in people with diabetes. It helps treat symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn, feeling full long after a meal, and loss of appetite.

    In addition, the injection form is given to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy and surgery. It is also used during radiological (x-ray) examination of the stomach and/or small intestine. And it is used to aid in inserting a tube into the small intestine in adults and children.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Reglan?

    Reglan may also cause tardive dyskinesia, a syndrome of jerky or writhing involuntary movements, particularly of the tongue, face, mouth, or jaw. Elderly people (especially women), those who take more Reglan, and people with diabetes are at a higher risk for this condition. In children and adults <30 years old, 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 symptoms similar to those of Parkinson's disease, such as slow movements, rigidity, tremor, or a mask-like facial appearance.

    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.

    Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS, a life-threatening brain disorder) may also occur. Symptoms include high fever, muscle rigidity, altered consciousness, irregular pulse or blood pressure, irregular or rapid heart beat, and increased sweating.

    Mild to severe depression may occur as well, including thoughts of suicide. Contact your doctor if any of these occur.

    Reglan may also cause fluid retention and volume overload (too much fluid in the blood).

    If stopped abruptly, withdrawal symptoms such as dizziness, nervousness, and headache may occur.

  • Who should not take Reglan?

    You should not take Reglan if you have a blockage, tear, or bleeding of the stomach or small bowel that might be aggravated by increased stomach and small-bowel movement; have pheochromocytoma (a nonmalignant tumor that causes hypertension); have seizures, if you are <18 years of age (except for small bowel intubation); or are allergic to or sensitive to Reglan.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Reglan?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Reglan. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney disease, cirrhosis (chronic liver disease), a history of depression, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, breast cancer, deficiency of the enzymes NADH-cytochrome b5 reductase or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, stomach problems, or if you have recently had stomach surgery.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Symptoms of GERD

    Adults: The usual oral dose is 10 milligrams (mg) to 15 mg, up to 4 times a day, 30 minutes before each meal and at bedtime, depending upon the symptoms being treated and the effectiveness of the dose. Treatment usually lasts no longer than 12 weeks. If symptoms occur only intermittently or at specific times of the day, your doctor may give you a single dose of up to 20 mg as a preventive measure.

    Elderly: Older patients may need only 5 mg per dose.

    Symptoms Associated with Diabetic Slow Stomach Emptying

    Adults: The usual dose is 10 mg taken 30 minutes before each meal and at bedtime for 2-8 weeks.

    For severe symptoms, Reglan injection may be given as determined by your doctor. Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for you based on your condition and age.

    If you have kidney or liver disease, your doctor will adjust your dose.

  • How should I take Reglan?

    Reglan is usually taken 30 minutes before a meal. If you suffer from heartburn that occurs only intermittently or only at certain times of the day, your doctor may want you to schedule your Reglan therapy around those times. You will probably take Reglan for only 4-12 weeks. Continuous treatment beyond 12 weeks is not recommended.

  • What should I avoid while taking Reglan?

    Reglan may make you drowsy and impair your coordination. You should not drive, or perform hazardous tasks until you know how the medication affects you.

    Avoid alcohol while taking Reglan.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Reglan?

    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: acetaminophen, alcohol, antispasmodic drugs, cimetidine, cyclosporine, digoxin, insulin, monoamine oxidase inhibitor antidepressants, levodopa, narcotic painkillers, sleeping pills, tetracycline, or tranquilizers.

  • What are the possible side effects of Reglan?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: drowsiness, fatigue, restlessness, weakness, trouble sleeping, headache, confusion, dizziness, nausea, vomiting

  • Can I receive Reglan if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Reglan during pregnancy are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant. Reglan appears in breast milk. Your doctor may recommend that you discontinue Reglan while you are breastfeeding your baby.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Reglan?

    If you miss a dose of Reglan, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Reglan?

    Store at room temperature.

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