Reglan Dosage Guidelines and Overdose Effects
Reglan has a strong tendency to increase the effects of other medications and substances in addition to having several of its own hazardous side effects. The most serious risks include movement disorders such as dystonia (sustained muscular contractions, twisting and repetitive motions), tardive dyskinesia (tics and uncontrollable movements of the face and extremities) and parkinsonism (difficulty moving and tremors associated with Parkinson's Disease).
Reglan, originally a product of Schwarz Pharma, Inc., can be taken as an injection (into muscle tissue) or orally in pill form. Some doctors may start a patient on injections and switch to the oral version once the medication has begun to have the desired effect.
It is important that Reglan be taken in exact dosages. One of the advantages of the injectable form of this drug is that it is much easier to control the amount that is administered. How much Reglan a patient takes at one time depends on the indications. Patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) will typically take between 10 and 15 milligrams four times a day, half an hour before meals and once before bed. It can also be used prophylactically if the condition is in response to specific foods or situations throughout the day. In this case, a single dose of 20 milligrams may be taken.
Patients who suffer from diabetic-related gastroparesis (full or partial paralysis of the stomach muscles) also take four doses a day prior to meals and before going to bed. For these patients, each dose is no more than 10 milligrams (total 40 mg. per day). Gastroparesis patients are among those who may start on injections before they are switched to pills.
Patients who show sensitivity to Reglan or begin to manifest symptoms may have their dosage reduced by half, either by cutting the amount or the number of times per day the medication is administered. Other patients who may need to take reduced amounts of Reglan include those suffering from kidney problems. In all cases, Reglan should not be taken for more than 90 consecutive days.
Missing a Dose and Dangers of Overdose
It is recommended that patients who forget to take a dose of Reglan do so as soon as they remember, unless it is nearly time for the next one. Under no circumstances should the patient attempt to "double up" in order to recover a missed dosage. Doing so may result in an overdose.
Symptoms of a Reglan Overdose
- Agitation or nervousness
In addition, women who are nursing newborn babies should avoid Reglan altogether as the drug can be excreted through breast milk. An overdose for young infants can result in methemoglobinemia, a potentially life-threatening condition in which the blood is unable to carry sufficient oxygen to the cells.
What To Do In Case of Overdose
If the patient who overdoses on Reglan is treated immediately, the medication can usually be removed with a stomach pump. It may be necessary to administer fluids intravenously in order to dilute the medication that may be in the system. In addition, some of the more severe movement disorders (also known as extrapyramidal symptoms) may appear, requiring additional medication.
- eMedTV. "An Introduction to Reglan Dosing." http://gerd.emedtv.com/reglan/reglan-dosage.html (18 August 2008).
- eMedTV. "Reglan Overdose Effects." http://gerd.emedtv.com/reglan/reglan-overdose.html (18 August 2008).
- eMedTV. "What Is Reglan?" http://gerd.emedtv.com/reglan/reglan.html (18 August 2008).
- PDR Health. "Reglan: How Should You Take Reglan?" http://www.pathwayclinic.com/consents/reglan%20info.pdf (17 January 2006).