Reglan Tardive Dyskinesia Lawsuit Heading to Trial Next Week

A trial is scheduled to begins next week in a Reglan lawsuit brought by a woman who says that a generic version of the popular heartburn drug caused her to suffer a rare movement disorder known as tardive dyskinesia

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division by plaintiff Susan Swicegood and is set to go to trial the week of July 26. Her lawsuit is just one of about 150 that have been filed against various drug makers who manufacture the drug. All of the lawsuits allege that the manufacturers failed to adequately warn that Reglan could cause tardive dyskinesia.

Reglan, which is also known as generic metocrlopramide, is approved for the short-term treatment of gastrointestinal disorders like diabetic gastroparesis, gastroesphageal reflux (GERD) and delayed gastric emptying. However, it is often prescribed for longer periods of time due to the often chronic persistence of those ailments, which has been shown to increase the risk of tardive dyskinesia and other injuries.

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Tardive dyskinesia is a neurological movement disorder that causes repetitive and involuntary movements of the lower face and limbs. Symptoms can include grimacing, chewing, smacking of lips, rapid eye movements and impaired finger movements. There is no known effective treatment of the disorder, and involuntary movements can become permanent, persisting after use of the drug has stopped.

Swicegood indicates that she was put on a regimen that required her to take four 10mg Reglan pills per day, and took a generic form manufactured by Pliva, who is named as the defendant in the lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that the Physician’s Desk Reference on generic Reglan did not include the proper warnings about tardive dyskinesia, as required by law. According to Swicegood’s claim, that meant neither she nor her doctor were truly informed about the extent of the risk of side effects of Reglan.

Although the first tardive dyskinesia lawsuit over Reglan was filed in 1998, the number of cases began to spike after the FDA required the manufacturers of all metoclopramide-containing drugs to add a “black box” warning about the potential Reglan problems in February 2009.

Last year, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation rejected an attempt to consolidate and centralize all Reglan tardive dyskinesia lawsuits for pretrial proceedings. Therefore, all of the federal cases are currently proceeding in different courts throughout the country with different scheduling orders and trial dates.

In March 2010, a request was made to centralize New Jersey state court lawsuits over Reglan, indicating that two law firms were planning to file between 75 and 100 Reglan suits in that state. According to the New Jersey Judiciary Mass Tort Information website, a decision has not yet been posted about whether those state court actions will be coordinated before one judge.


  • WalterAugust 16, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I was on this drug for 8 years and had to stop using it because of problems I was having chewing on my tongue.

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