Dawn Harris of Louisiana filed a lawsuit against the makers of Reglan when her daughter, Coy Callahan, developed the neurological disorder tardive dyskinesia after taking the drug between 2006 and 2008.
Callahan was prescribed Reglan — minor privacy laws prevent listing what for — in a dosage that was already proven at the time to cause young children to contract tardive dyskinesia. The condition causes victims to suffer from involuntary arm and leg movements as well lips smacking, grimacing and eye blinking. As of yet, there is no cure for the disorder. The lawsuit has named Pharmaceutical Associates Inc., its parent company Beach Products Inc. and Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals Inc. as defendants in the lawsuit. These are the companies that make the generic version of Reglan, which is called metoclopramide.
While it is not known what Callahan was taking Reglan for, it is most popularly used for treating gastrointestinal disorders such as gastroesophogeal reflux (GERD) and diabetic gastroparesis. It is even given to women that have a difficult time lactating while breast feeding. However, using it for breastfeeding is not approved by the FDA and is considered an off-label use. Reglan is only approved for use for less than 12 weeks.
Back in February 2009, the FDA made the makers of both generic (metaclopramide) and brand name Reglan carry a “black box” warning that sent doctors and patients an alert to the risks of users developing tardive dyskinesia, but the warning didn’t come early enough for some patients like Callahan. While Reglan lawsuits against Wyeth Inc. have been centralized to New Jersey (where Wyeth’s headquarters are located), lawsuits against the generic versions have been refused MDL status because there are too many companies that manufacture metroclopramide. However, plaintiffs are filing suits all over the country. Many lawsuits are being filed now since the statute of limitations for filing Reglan suits is going to be up later this month.