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Reglan use caused Parkinson's diagnosis, Texas lawsuit says

Three Texas residents have filed a lawsuit against several pharmaceutical companies, claiming that their use of the prescription drug Reglan caused them to develop serious diseases. According to the Texas Reglan lawsuit, each of the plaintiffs has recently been diagnosed with at least one ailment, such as Parkinson's disease, tardive dyskinesia and Orobuccolingual dyskinesia. The plaintiffs claim that these diseases are the direct result of their use of the controversial drug.

Reglan, or metoclopramide, is primarily used to treat acid reflux and related gastrointestinal disorders. However, the drug has been repeatedly shown to cause tardive dyskinesia, which results in involuntary and repetitive movements of the body and for which there is no known treatment. Other ailments, such as Parkinson's, have also been reported.

In early 2009, the Food and Drug Administration began to require a new warning on Reglan boxes, which warned potential consumers that "chronic treatment with metoclopramide can cause tardive dyskinesia, a serious movement that is often irreversible."

However, this warning came too late for the three plaintiffs who have filed suit against Teva Pharmaceuticals, Pliva D.D. Barr Pharmaceuticals, and several other manufacturers. One plaintiff developed tardive dyskinesia after using Reglan for 10 years, while a second was diagnosed with Parkinson's and two forms of dyskinesia after using the drug for just 19 months. The third plaintiff developed tardive dyskinesia after 1.5 years of Reglan use.

The lawsuit alleges several causes of action against the manufacturers, including negligence, failure to warn, deceptive trade practices, fraud and misrepresentation, and others. The plaintiffs allege that the manufacturers failed to use due care in developing and testing the drug, and that they failed to provide adequate warnings regarding side effects.

Source: SE Texas Record, "Lawsuit blames drug-induced Parkinson's on reflux medicine", Michelle Massey, 2 March 2011

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