People with movement disorders that are inherited or caused by infection or other occurrences, such as Parkinson’s disease, have a bevy of resources available. But for those whose debilitating condition came as a result of medication have little support. The National Empowerment Center, an organization dedicated to those with mental illness, is raising awareness and educating the public about such conditions in hopes to change that trend.
Tardive Dyskinesia and Tardive Dystonia are serious movement disorders caused by psychiatric medications. Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a black box warning to patients and health care providers that patients taking metoclopramide, a drug to treat heartburn, GERD and other gastrointestinal conditions, were at greater risk of developing Tardive Dyskinesia. Patients who used metoclopramide for 12 weeks or longer were at an even greater risk of developing the condition. Some studies show as many as 20 percent of patients who used metoclopramide long-term developed the disorder.
Metoclopramide is known in the U.S. by the brand name Reglan. A orally dissolving table form of metoclopramide, Metozolv, has just been approved by the FDA and carries the same black box warning for Tardive Dyskinesia.
Tardive Dyskinesia expresses itself in various ways, including involuntary lip smacking; blinking; raising eyebrows; tongue twitching and protrusion; toe tapping; and jerking; and repetitive, involuntary motions of the fingers, hands, arms, legs and/or torso. Sometimes movements are slight and barley noticeable. For others, the movements are debilitating and sometimes painful. The movements usually cease during sleep but are more pronounced when the sufferer is anxious or under stress.
There have been successful lawsuits filed by individuals diagnosed with Tardive Dyskinesia that has been caused by their medication, including one in which a jury awarded the plaintiff $1.3 million. If you have suffered from involuntary movements following use of metoclopramide or any other medication, you may have a claim against the drug maker.