Reglan found to be ineffective and dangerous
A popular medication for gastrointestinal conditions such as severe heartburn, acid reflux and gastroparesis may not only be ineffective in treating the conditions for which it is prescribed, it can also be dangerous to users of the drug. Reglan (metoclopramide), was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1979 as a short term treatment for a symphony of gastric disorders. Studies published in medical journals over the years show that the drug provides moderate relief of symptoms at best. What it also does is put users of the medication at an elevated risk of developing a serious involuntary movement disorder called Tardive Dyskinesia.
In 1975, just four years before Reglan was approved by the FDA, the medical journal Gastroenterology published a study that said while the drug provided some relief of symptoms to patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it appeared to have no effect on serum gastrin levels. High serum gastrin levels indicate the presence of a duodenal ulcer or gastrinoma.
Eight years later, the American Journal of Gastroenterology published another study that showed Reglan provided temporary relief of GERD symptoms but did not ease symptoms of esophagitis, a condition in which the esophagus is inflamed, irritated or swollen. A third study, published in 2006 in the Nature Clinical Practice: Gastroenterology & Hepatology, found that Reglan had no sustained effect on acid exposure or in the healing of esophagitis.
If studies suggesting the ineffectiveness of Reglan don’t sway the public, perhaps the FDA’s black box warning will. The warning was issued a year ago after mounting reports of users of Reglan developing Tardive Dyskinesia. The condition can be debilitating and symptoms often do not go away after the medication has been discontinued.
Source: Huffington Post