A lawsuit that was filed on January 19, 2012, in California has a lawyer representing a group of different plaintiffs who are all claiming that they developed tardive dyskinesia after taking the controversial acid reflux drug Reglan.
For this lawsuit, at least two of the plaintiffs are minors who have developed tardive dyskinesia after taking Reglan. This side effect forced the FDA to issue a black box warning against the drug back in 2009. Tardive dyskinesia is a debilitating condition that is characterized by patients suffering from Parkinson’s-like symptoms including involuntary movements of the extremities, tongue protrusion, lip smacking, facial grimacing and eye blinking. For many patients, this condition is permanent and requires ongoing medical care.
As with many similar Reglan lawsuits, the plaintiffs are accusing the defendants, Wyeth, the makers of Reglan, of knowing about the tardive dyskinesia side effects and not properly giving warning to patients or healthcare professionals. The plaintiffs in this case are claiming that they will have continuously “experience disfigurement, disability, embarrassment, loss of ability to provide household services for himself or herself, physical pain, mental anguish, potential death and permanently diminished enjoyment of life.”
Drug companies are experiencing a great deal of negative press these days over the side effects of their prescription medications, which has many consumers and experts wondering why drugs like Reglan aren’t simply recalled. This is particularly true in the case of relatively mild medications like Reglan, which is used to treat heartburn and acid reflux conditions. With OTC options out there like Rolaids, Tums and Pepcid AC, it is a wonder that patients need Reglan at all. Even patients suffering from more severe forms of acid reflux can turn to prescription strength medications like Ranitidine. It just doesn’t seem worth it for doctors to continue to prescribe Reglan, when other, safer options are available.