While Reglan has been used to help treat gastroesophageal reflux in babies and children, it also is prescribed for assisting with milk production in breastfeeding mothers.
Since it was discovered that Reglan use increases a woman’s level of prolactin (which is the hormone that produces the milk), it has been prescribed for mothers in cases where the female doesn’t produce enough on her own. It is NOT used to produce milk itself, but as an aid to help breastfeeding women increase their production; Reglan is not used in the cases of women that can’t produce milk at all. Generally the dosage given to breastfeeding mothers is relatively low and is given in a one 10-milligram tablet that is taken three or four times a day for a period of about a week. By the second week, the drug is then weaned. This regimen generally is enough to get the milk to start to flow better in about 2-4 days.
Drug information about Reglan currently states that metoclopramide is actually excreted in human milk, and that it should be used with caution if it is offered to a breastfeeding mother. But as with all things prescription related, there are some dangers and/or potential side effects involved. Some of the common side effect can occur when the patient is taking Reglan, even if she doesn’t have a high-risk history. These side effects also can occur if you are taking another medication that could interact badly with Reglan. Some of the complications you can expect may include such as:
- tardive dyskinesia (TD) or other severe problems with your movement
- severe depression; this may be worse if you already suffer from post-partum depression or if you have a history of PPD
- neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) which can be fatal
- fast or irregular heart beat
You should not take Reglan unless prescribed by your own doctor and never just take the drug from a friend as you may have a pre-existing condition that can make the side effects worse.