GERD Home > More Info on Reglan Indications

How Does Reglan Work?

Reglan has several actions in the digestive tract. It causes the esophageal sphincter (that closes the opening from the stomach up to the esophagus) to become more tight while causing the pyloric sphincter (that closes the opening from the stomach out to the intestines) to relax. It increases the muscular contractions of the stomach and small intestines. All of these actions work together to help food move through the stomach more quickly (which is why Reglan is effective for diabetic gastroparesis treatment). Reglan has little or no activity in the colon.
Reglan helps with GERD by preventing the contents of the stomach from refluxing back up the esophagus, since it increases the tightness of the esophageal sphincter.
Reglan helps to relieve nausea and vomiting by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain. Dopamine can activate the part of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting, and blocking the receptors helps to alleviate nausea and vomiting symptoms.

Reglan Use in Children

Reglan tablets and oral solution are not approved for any use in children. Young infants are particularly susceptible to the toxicities of this medication.

Off-Label Reglan Uses

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Reglan for something other than the conditions discussed in this article. Reglan is sometimes used off-label for a number of uses, such as:
  • To stimulate breast milk production
  • To treat gastroparesis due to causes other than diabetes
  • To treat morning sickness (nausea and vomiting of pregnancy)
  • To treat nausea and vomiting due to migraines.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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