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  My doctor just prescribed Reglan for my symptoms of fullness, belching, etc.  I read from someone that Reglan has "serious" side effects and that "it enters the brain and can cause irreversabile side effects."  This person was not a doctor.  Is this true?  I don't see many people using this medication--mostly I see Propulsid used.  Can you tell me a bit about Reglan and why it doesn't seem to be too popular.
Dear Christine,
Metaclopramide (Reglan) is not often used as a first line drug because of its side effect profile. It works as a peripheral and central dopamine antagonist and a cholinergic agonist.  It causes an increase in lower esophageal sphincter pressure and accelerates gastric emptying. Side effects include: fatigue, lethargy and psychotropic and extrapyramidal side effects as well as galactorrhea (milk discharge from the breasts) secondary to increased prolactin levels. The fatigue, lethargy and drowsiness occurs because metaclopramide crosses the blood brain barrier to affect the central nervous system. Extrapyramidal side effects are abnormal movements and muscle spasms that can be quite troublesome, but usually subside with discontinuation of the drug. Side effects have been reported in up to 30% of patients. Tardive dyskinesia is a movement disorder which can occur with long-term use of metaclopramide. It can persist even after the drug is discontinued. The frequency of side effects can be decreased by decreasing the dose, giving a larger dose only before troubling meals or at bedtime or using a sustained release tablet. I hope you find this information helpful.
This response is being provided for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Always check with your personal physician when you have a question pertaining to your health.
If you would like to be seen at our institution please call 1-800-653-6568 our Referring Physicians' Office and make an appointment to see Dr. Muszkat, one of our experts in Gastroenterology.
*Keywords: metaclopramide, side effects

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