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Reglan and Breastfeeding

Reglan (metoclopramide) - the prescription-only medication most commonly used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, vomiting and diabetic gastroparesis - has side effects that merit special attention when it comes to patients who are breastfeeding. The Drug Information for Reglan states that metoclopramide is excreted in human milk, and that "Caution should be exercised when metoclopramide is administered to a nursing mother."

However, Reglan is approved to treat upper gastrointestinal function in infants and children. Many babies have acid reflux (throwing up) problems, but the symptoms usually resolve on their own.

Breastfeeding and Reglan Side Effects

Reglan's list of potential side effects is long and sobering. A wide variety of Reglan side effects can occur when an individual is taking oral, intravenous or intramuscular Reglan, whether or not he or she has "high-risk" medical history, has a regular alcohol consumption habit, or is taking another medication that could interact with Reglan drug - including:

  • tardive dyskinesia (TD) and other severe movement disorders
  • depression; this is of special concern in light of the additional possibility of post-partum depression
  • neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), a life-threatening condition
  • fast or irregular heart beat

A nursing mother should not use Reglan without first telling her doctor that she is breastfeeding.

Does Reglan Increase Breastmilk?

Oddly enough, Reglan has been used to increase breastmilk production when there is some difficulty establishing an adequate milk supply. Such breastfeeding problems may occur in situations such as:

  • the mother is sick
  • breastfeeding after breast surgery
  • restarting breastfeeding after weaning
  • extended breast-pumping for a premature or ill newborn
  • after adoption (a woman is breastfeeding an adopted infant)

Reglan Dosage for Breastfeeding

Reglan use can increase a woman's level of prolactin, a milk-production hormone. As a breastfeeding aid, the Reglan dosage is usually one 10-milligram table taken three or four times a day for one week, and the dosing is then tapered off over the following week. The milk supply usually starts to increase two to four days after the Reglan is initiated.

If you have taken Reglan for breastfeeding help or other reasons and you suffered ill effects, it is in your best interest to speak with an attorney that represents individuals harmed by prescription drugs. For more information and to schedule a free evaluation of your case, contact a Reglan Lawyer today.

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