PRESCRIBED FOR: Metoclopramide is used on a short term basis (4 to 12 weeks) for treating patients with heartburn and esophagitis due to GERD and for treating patients who have gastroparesis. Metoclopramide is used to promote emptying of the stomach prior to radiological examinations and to facilitate passage of tubes passed through the nose or mouth and into the small intestine. It is used for treating impaired function of muscles of the small intestine that may give rise to symptoms that mimic intestinal obstruction (nausea, vomiting, and abdominal distention). Metoclopramide also is used in the treatment of nausea due to surgery or cancer chemotherapy.
SIDE EFFECTS: Metoclopramide is generally well-tolerated when used in low doses for brief periods. Neurological side effects increase with higher doses and longer periods of treatment. Common side effects of metoclopramide are:
Other important side effects of metoclopramide include serious neurological symptoms that mimic Parkinson's disease such as:
- involuntary muscle movements,
- facial grimacing, and
- dystonic reactions resembling tetanus.
Fortunately, these more serious side effects are infrequent and usually - though not always - disappear when metoclopramide is discontinued. Patients with Parkinson's disease can experience worsening of symptoms with metoclopramide. Metoclopramide may impair the mental and/or physical abilities to drive or operate machinery.
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