Hospira & Tardive Dyskinesia
Headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois, Hospira is a division of Abbott Laboratories responsible for global specialty pharmaceutical and medication delivery. Hospira launched in the 1930s with the discovery and creation of Pentothal®, a popular anesthetic for the time. Today, the company produces a wide variety of generic injectable products in more than 600 dosages and formulations including cardiovascular drugs, anesthetics, anti-infectives, oncology injectables, and diluents for distribution in over 50 countries.
Hospira and Metoclopramide
Hospira manufactures a generic injectable metoclopramide, most commonly recognized in the U.S. by its brand name, Reglan®. Metoclopramide is usually prescribed for:
- Post-surgery patients who experience nausea and vomiting caused by anesthesia.
- Cancer patients who experience nausea and vomiting as a side effect of chemotherapy.
- Migraine sufferers who experience nausea with their headaches.
The drug is also a prokinetic, facilitating the passing of food from the stomach to the intestines in those who have diseases like diabetic gastroparesis or gastric reflux disease. It is also commonly prescribed for heartburn.
Metoclopramide and Tardive Dyskinesia
In 2004, a study was released which indicated that the drug metoclopramide, which has been widely-prescribed throughout the U.S. since the 1980s, is responsible for the development of tardive dyskinesia when used for long-term treatment of ailments like heartburn. Tardive dyskinesia is characterized by involuntary, rapid and repetitive body movements including repeatedly sticking out the tongue, eye blinking, grimacing, other facial tics, and also spasms of the arms and legs.
While it is recommended that metoclopramide be used for 90 days, patients were prescribed a prolonged length of treatment with the drug, causing those individuals to experience permanent side effects with the onset of the movement disorder, known as TD.
When considering the risks addressed by the 2004 study, the FDA waited five years to add a black box warning on all metoclopramide packaging in 2009. As a result, many had been taking the drug without any awareness of this potentially serious side effect.
In an effort to help patients and their families better understand tardive dyskinesia, Tardivedyskinesia.com is now offering a free informational packet. To receive your packet in the mail, please enter your information below.