You can’t turn on the TV these days without hearing that the heartburn medication Reglan, also known by the generic name metoclopramide, has been linked to the serious involuntary movement disorder, Tardive Dyskinesia. But the drug also carries another serious warning – it can cause depression and suicidal thoughts.
Reglan was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of gastrointestinal conditions such as chronic heartburn, severe acid reflux or GERD, nausea, and gastroparesis. One year ago, after numerous reports of people using Reglan developed the often permanent and debilitating movement disorder, the FDA placed a black box warning on the drug warning physicians and consumers that using Reglan increased one’s risk of developing Tardive Dyskinesia. A black box warning is the strongest warning the agency can give and is reserved for drugs that carry a significant risk of serious or even life-threatening adverse effects.
But Reglan also carries under the WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS section of its safety label a risk of developing depression. Some cases are mild, but others can be quite severe and may involve suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Because of this, consumers should tell their health care provider if they have depression or a history of depression. People who are prescribed Reglan should also be monitored for any signs of depression.
If you or someone you know is taking Reglan and has concerns or questions about the medication, contact your health care professional. Any side effects with this or any other medication should be reported to the FDA MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program at www.FDA.gov/MedWatch.