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Reglan – Risk Categories

By August 18, 2010Uncategorized

Patients in different conditions are at different risk levels for developing side effects from medications like Reglan. When trying to evaluate the risks versus benefits of going on Reglan, it’s important to consider your own physical condition entirely before starting treatment.

First, consider what Reglan is meant to treat. It can be used to control chronic nausea and GERD, also known as acid reflux disease. These conditions are not necessarily minor — chronic nausea isn’t just queasiness, and GERD can’t be dismissed as heartburn, and both can be debilitating.

For example, chronic nausea can lead to disorientation and vomiting. It can make it difficult to eat, which combined with a pattern of vomiting can mean severely-reduced caloric intake. GERD means that acid is frequently getting into the patients’ throats. This is not something that can be ignored either: Stomach acid is powerful stuff, and it can leave severe, painful blisters on the throat. These scars can turn cancerous over time, and even if they don’t, they can rob people of sleep and comfort, degrading their general health. It is important to consider the severity of the conditions before making any decisions.

But Reglan has been demonstrated to be a primary cause of Tardive Dyskinesia. This condition also is serious, and potentially permanent. It can lead to constant facial tics that have been described as painful, exhausting and disfiguring, as well as motions in the extremities, all uncontrollable. The risk of this condition must be weighed against the severity of the conditions being treated.

Furthermore, the age and condition of the patients in question have a significant impact on the potential to develop Tardive Dyskinesia. TD manifests most commonly in older patients who were prescribed Reglan, and not as frequently as in younger patients. The longer a patient is on the medicine, particularly when going past the recommended 12-week cutoff, the more likely TD will result.

The conditions Reglan is intended to treat are indeed serious, but so is TD. Patients are advised to think carefully and exhaust all other options if they can before risking a neurological condition.