Reglan® (Metoclopramide)

Reglan® (the generic is metoclopramide) is an oral medication for heartburn and esophageal reflux. It helps speed the stomach's ability to empty its contents into the small intestine. It also is given to some patients by injection.

Metoclopramide Uses

In its oral form, Reglan® or metoclopramide is used to treat esophageal reflux and heartburn by promoting muscle contraction in the upper digestive tract. When given as an injection, metoclopramide is used by diabetics to help their stomachs empty their contents more quickly and easily. It also is used to treat nausea in patients on chemotherapy.

Other uses for Reglan® include:

  • Nausea and vomiting after surgery
  • Inserting a tube into the small intestine
  • To help the stomach empty before an x-ray exam
  • To treat gastroparesis, a condition in which the stomach empties its contents too slowly and when there is no blockage
  • Migraines
  • In patients with kidney disease
  • In patients with liver disease such as cirrhosis or jaundice

Metoclopramide Dosage

The dosage of oral Reglan® may vary depending upon the patient, his or her disease state, and other medications he or she may be taking. It is important that patients take the exact dose recommended by their physician.

When taken orally, the usual recommended dose is 10 mg or 15 mg four times daily. For people with sensitivities to the medication, a lower dose of 5 mg four times daily is recommended. For diabetic patients whose stomach contents empty too slowly and thus distend the abdomen, the common dosage is 10 mg four times daily.

Usually, Reglan® is taken a half hour before meals and bedtime. Dosage for the intravenous or intramuscular injection of metoclopramide and the timing of the doses vary depending upon the condition being treated.

Patient Information

Reglan® often increases the effects of other medications. Therefore, your doctor should know all the other medications, vitamins, and herbs you are taking. It is important that Reglan® be taken in exact doses. The medication is usually taken between four and 12 weeks, and extending the drug beyond 12 weeks is not recommended.

Side Effects of Metoclopramide

Reglan® may cause mild to severe depression. It is important to tell your doctor if you have suffered from depression in the past.

One of the most severe effects of Reglan® is tardive dyskinesia. This syndrome occurs most often in older patients and older women, and is characterized by jerky, involuntary writhing movements, especially of the tongue, face, mouth or jaw.

When taken by children and adults younger than 31 years of age, the drug can cause involuntary movements of the arms and legs. Sometimes these patients will experience loud or labored breathing, especially during the first couple of days of therapy.

Other side effects of Reglan® include fatigue, sleepiness, and restlessness. Reglan® can also cause symptoms that mimic those of Parkinson's disease including:

  • Slow movements
  • Rigidity
  • Tremor
  • A mask-like appearance of the face

For more information about Reglan®, contact us today.