Reglan has gotten a lot of attention and bad press for causing harmful side effects. However, one of those side effects is known as Secondary Parkinson’s disease.

What makes this information interesting is that Reglan is most known for causing Tardive Dyskinesia (TD), neoleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), akathisia and ocular deviation. However, the pill that is most commonly used to treat GERD (gastroesophogeal reflux disease) often has some of the TD symptoms misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease. That may have caused many TD sufferers to miss the deadline for filing Reglan side effects lawsuits.

Secondary Parkinson’s Disease is also called Secondary Parkinsonism. The disease is characterized by symptoms that are similar to those experienced with Parkinson’s. Some of those symptoms include the following:

  • shaking or tremors in extremities,
  • limited movement,
  • weaknesses in the face and/or throat that can make it difficult to eat and swallow,
  • stiff and aching muscles,
  • vacant facial expression,
  • and difficulty walking

Parkinson’s was the diagnosis for patients complaining of these symptoms but it took some time before the symptoms were linked to Reglan use. But even now that it is known that Reglan can cause the disease, the chances of a patient using Reglan has increased from 15 percent to 61 percent. That is an astounding number even if you consider that most of the patients that took Reglan had taken it longer than the 90 days maximum that is recommended… and some for periods of months to years longer.

Secondary Parkinson’s caused by Reglan is not incurable like the regular disease is, and generally the symptoms stop once the Reglan is discontinued. Some patients, particularly the elderly or very young, can experience these symptoms for months or years before symptoms start to subside.

Parkinson’s occurs when the dopamine production in your body diminishes as time goes by because of cell damage that occurs when the Parkinson’s progresses. It is this dopamine reduction that happens in the brain that makes it hard to tell the difference between regular Parkinson’s disease and Reglan-induced Parkinson’s. Reglan-induced Parkinson’s is now the subject of a lawsuit that was filed in Texas on February 23, 2011.