What is Metoclopramide for?

Metoclopramide is a medication used to reduce heartburn, nausea and vomiting caused by various reasons. Nausea and vomiting as a result of the use of anti-cancer drugs, post-surgery and the result of other medical illnesses will be reduced by increasing the contractions of the upper portion of the digestive tract. It improves gastric emptying time which helps reduce the incidence of heartburn, nausea and vomiting.

Metoclopramide also helps patients with diabetic gastroparesis in diabetic patients since it increases gastric emptying. There are more uses of metoclopramide and your doctor will advise you the ideal dosage and frequency of this medication after careful assessment of your symptoms.

Metoclopramide is a generic name; popular brand names of metoclopramide are ODT, Reglan and Metozolv. Metoclopramide, Reglan is available in pill form, syrup, oral tablet or intravenously or IV.

How do you use Metoclopramide?

Before taking metoclopramide, inform your doctor if you are allergic to metoclopramide and to metoclopramide ingredients. You must also inform your doctor for any other medications you may be taking for any health or medical conditions. Medications used for the treatment of heart problems, diabetes, bladder or urinary tract infections, hypertension, irritable bowel disorders, depression, psychosis or respiratory disorders must be included in your report. Do not forget to tell your doctor if you are taking any vitamins, health supplements and herbal products since these may also affect the therapeutic properties of metoclopramide.

Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant before taking metoclopramide. Do not take this medication if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed since metoclopramide passes through breast milk.

  • Take metoclopramide 30 minutes before meals and before going to bed at night. This helps reduce the heartburn that is common after a heavy meal.
  • If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Never double your dose. Space the remaining dose evenly. Remember to take your medications on time so you will be able to benefit from the therapeutic action of metoclopramide.
  • If you are using ODT or metoclopramide orally disintegrating tablet, remove the medication from the casing just before taking them. Place the tablet on your tongue and never swallow it, allow it to melt completely. You don’t need to follow up with water just allow the ODT to melt on its own.
  • If you are taking oral syrup form, use a measuring cup to take precise doses of the medication; never use a spoon or a tablespoon.
  • Do not overdose; high doses of metoclopramide will cause uncontrollable muscle movements of the face, eyes, lips and extremities. Never stop abruptly, allow your doctor to schedule a weaning dose for you to prevent serious side effects.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol when taking metoclopramide. This medication will cause dizziness and sleepiness so do not operate machinery or drive.

Storage condition for Metoclopramide:

Metoclopramide tablets and syrup forms must be stored between 15 – 30 degrees C while injectable metoclopramide should be stored at room temperature. Always keep this medication in its original packaging and always refer to your prescription when taking a dose. Keep the medicine literature to refer to it in case of side effects and contraindications.

Other important information:

Metoclopramide is a prescription medication; your doctor will advise the ideal dosage of this medication so refer to your prescription regularly. Never use metoclopramide in excess amounts or longer than 12 weeks. Serious involuntary movements of several muscle groups may happen and may not be reversible even when the medication is discontinued.

Side effects to metoclopramide are higher in women, senior patients and in patients with diabetes. Always have regular check-ups so your doctor may asses your condition while taking metoclopramide.

What are the side effects of Metoclopramide?

Metoclopramide is effective in the treatment of heartburn, vomiting and nausea due to using anti-cancer medications and the effect of surgery. But as this medication is effective, there are several side effects that any user must be aware of:

  • Gastrointestinal disorders such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Consult your doctor for worsening diarrhea as well as other GI conditions.
  • Sleep problems and headaches are also common but must be assessed for worsening conditions.
  • Restlessness, drowsiness, feeling tired and dizziness are very common side effects.
  • In women, breast tenderness, swelling of the breasts, changes in menstrual pattern and flow of menses and changes in mood.
  • Urinating more or less than usual are common but urine output should be monitored the entire duration of treatment.

Consult your doctor for these severe side effects:

  • Uncontrollable movements of the fine muscles of your face, neck, arms, legs, eyes and lips and other involuntary movements like rapid blinking of the eyes, frowning, unusual movement of the tongue and smacking of the lips; these should be reported right away. Your doctor may advice you to discontinue taking metoclopramide and prescribe other medications instead.
  • Inability to control balance while walking, tremors and seizures must be consulted right away.
  • Stiffening of the muscles of the face causing a mask-like appearance.
  • Anxiety, hallucinations, inability to sit or stay still and restlessness must be consulted right away.
  • Yellow discoloration of the eyes or the skin.

In case of over dosage:

Seek medical help right away by calling 1-800-222-1222 Poison Help. Suspect overdose when you see drowsiness, fine tremors, confusion, involuntary movements of the face and seizures. Keep the patient warm and call for help immediately.

What is the usual dose of Metoclopramide?

Metoclopramide for post-surgery nausea and vomiting – 10 to 20mg intramuscularly towards the end of surgery.

Metoclopramide to treat gastric reflux – 10 to 15mg orally for 4 times in a day. Take these 30 minutes before meals and before bedtime.

Metoclopramide for chemotherapy – intravenous dosage of 1 to 2mg/kg/dose 30 minutes before chemotherapy schedule. Repeat doses may be given when vomiting is not suppressed.

Your doctor will advise the right dosage and frequency in taking metoclopramide. Follow your prescription carefully and report any unusual side effects as soon as they happen. Keep your doctor’s emergency phone numbers and the number of the nearest medical facility.

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