Teva Pharmaceuticals & Tardive Dyskinesia
Headquartered in Israel, Teva Pharmaceuticals is a global company that specializes in the development, manufacture, and marketing of both generic and branded pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. It is one of the largest generic drug companies in the world and is listed among the top 15 pharmaceutical companies overall.
Today, Teva has several manufacturing facilities in Israel, Europe, and the U.S, having recently acquired Barr Pharmaceuticals and its European subsidiary, Pliva.
Teva Pharmaceuticals and Metoclopramide
Teva manufactures a generic metoclopramide tablet and injection, 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.