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Reglan Lawsuit Information

Reglan (metoclopramide) is a drug that doctors prescribe to treat several conditions, including:

  • Digestive disorders
  • Heartburn
  • Acid reflux
  • Esophageal ulcers
  • Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD)

Some doctors also use it to treat diabetic gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is a form of stomach muscle paralysis. It affects many diabetes patients.

Gastroparesis can slow digestion, causing a rise in blood sugar. Reglan helps hasten the digestive process, lowering a patient's blood sugar. Specifically, Reglan helps with faster stomach emptying, which improves digestion.

Patients may also take Reglan to help with migraine headaches. Manufacturers originally developed Reglan as an antipsychotic drug. This helps explain some of the drug's notable side effects.

Reglan is the brand name for this prescription drug. There are also several generic versions of the drug. Over the years, patients have reported severe side effects of Reglan. This has led to lawsuits against the manufacturer, Baxter Healthcare.

Here, we'll describe some of Reglan's side effects. We'll also discuss the FDA's response to some of these side effects. Finally, we'll explain why patients have sued Baxter Healthcare and the results of the Reglan lawsuits.

Reglan Side Effects

Serious Reglan side effects have spurred recent lawsuits. The most prominent adverse side effect of Reglan is a neurological disorder called tardive dyskinesia (TD). TD causes patients to make involuntary movements in the face and neck.

Some symptoms of TD include:

  • Lip smacking
  • Grimacing
  • Puckering of the mouth
  • Eye shifting
  • Involuntary muscle movements

Unfortunately, tardive dyskinesia is often irreversible.

Another notable side effect is parkinsonism. This neurological condition causes people to develop the same involuntary movements associated with Parkinson's disease.

Some of the symptoms of parkinsonism include:

  • Slowed body movement
  • Speech impairment
  • Muscle stiffness

Parkinsonism is often reversible, and many patients find relief after switching medications. Reglan patients have reported developing other movement disorders as well.

Another severe health risk of taking Reglan is neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Many antipsychotic drugs cause this condition. Since doctors initially prescribed Reglan as an antipsychotic, the fact that it may cause NMS is no surprise. NMS can be life-threatening.

Food and Drug Administration and Black Box Warnings

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Reglan in 1979. This was long before the agency was aware of the severe health risks of the drug.

A 1993 study found that patients taking metoclopramide faced an increased risk of developing TD and parkinsonism. Patients who took metoclopramide for more than twelve weeks were 67% more likely to develop TD and four times more likely to develop parkinsonism.

In 2009, the FDA issued a black box warning for all metoclopramide drugs. This warning came on the heels of studies showing that patients taking metoclopramide for more than 12 weeks had a much higher risk of developing tardive dyskinesia.

Patients are strongly advised not to take Reglan for more than 12 weeks. The FDA didn't order manufacturers to place a black box warning for the increased risk of parkinsonism. But most drug companies include this risk in their labels and packaging.

Reglan Lawsuits and Product Liability

American law protects consumers injured by dangerous drugs and defective products. The best way to protect your rights is to file a product liability lawsuit. These lawsuits accomplish several things.

First, they allow consumers to receive compensation for their injuries. Second, they allow the courts to hold manufacturers responsible for unsafe drugs and products. Finally, product liability law helps raise public awareness about unsafe products. People must report adverse reactions to dangerous drugs. This is especially true if drug manufacturers don't warn patients about the risks of their medications.

So far, hundreds of patients have filed Reglan lawsuits. This number will continue to grow. Patients who developed tardive dyskinesia, parkinsonism, and other movement disorders after taking Reglan have brought these lawsuits. Patients have filed similar lawsuits against manufacturers of the generic drug versions of Reglan. Most Reglan lawsuits are individual lawsuits filed by the patients.

You may have heard about Reglan lawsuits in the media. In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a Reglan case, Pliva, Inc. v. Mensing. In that case, the Court held that federal drug labeling laws preempt state failure to warn claims against the manufacturers of generic metoclopramide. This decision doesn't apply to the manufacturers of brand-name drugs. It should not stop patients from relying on other product liability claims in filing a Reglan lawsuit.

Conflicting Court Decisions in Reglan Litigation

Discussing the Reglan lawsuits without mentioning the conflicting court rulings in these cases is challenging. Since early 2011, when the first wave of Reglan lawsuits arrived, judges across the U.S. have ruled for both plaintiffs and defendant manufacturers.

In 2011, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices announced that there were more Reglan lawsuits in 2011 than for any other drug. More than 2,000 plaintiffs joined a mass tort case in Philadelphia. The plaintiffs alleged that the manufacturers of Reglan and the generic versions of the drug failed to warn patients and doctors about the drug's risks.

Specifically, the lawsuits involved claims that Reglan causes tardive dyskinesia, parkinsonism, NMS, and other neurological disorders. Plaintiffs in both state and federal courts argued that the defendants knew about these risks long before the FDA ordered them to put a black box warning on their packaging.

The plaintiffs also claimed that the drugmakers used deceptive marketing practices by not telling prescribers about Reglan's risks.

Below is a summary of the significant Reglan lawsuits against Teva Pharmaceuticals, Baxter Healthcare, and other pharmaceutical companies:

  • 2011: The United States Supreme Court held that plaintiffs could not sue major drug manufacturers for injuries from taking generic versions of Reglan.
  • January 2013: The Alabama Supreme Court held that patients can sue Wyeth for injuries they experienced from taking generic metoclopramide.
  • March 2015: The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a Pennsylvania Appellate Court case involving generic drug injuries. At that time, the Court held that federal law preempted failure to warn lawsuits against the defendants.
  • August 2016: A Nebraska federal court dismissed cases against Wyeth, Pfizer, and Schwarz Pharma because plaintiffs took more than 10 years to file suit.
  • February 2018: Teva Pharmaceuticals settled more than 1,700 lawsuits for an undisclosed amount. The Court ordered a global dismissal of these cases and the other 300 pending cases.

Get More Reglan Lawsuit Information: Call an Attorney

Because most patients take a generic version of Reglan, such suits are rare in recent times. But if you or your loved one becomes sick after using Reglan, you may have a claim under product liability.

Navigating the intricacies of product liability law can be challenging. It's wise to consult an experienced product liability attorney who has handled dangerous drug lawsuits. They can explain your legal options.

Many law firms offer new clients a free case evaluation. Visit's attorney directory to find a personal injury lawyer near you.

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