Reglan is a medication used for the short-term treatment of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and diabetic gastroparesis. It helps move food through the stomach more quickly and prevents stomach contents from refluxing back up the esophagus. Reglan is available by prescription only and comes in tablet, liquid, and injectable form. Potential side effects of the drug include drowsiness, fatigue, and restlessness.
Reglan® (metoclopramide) is a prescription medication that is approved for the following uses:
- Short-term treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Short-term treatment of diabetic gastroparesis (a condition caused by diabetes that involves the stomach emptying too slowly).
This article focuses on the tablet and oral solution forms of Reglan. Injectable versions of this medication are also available and are approved for additional uses, such as for preventing nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy or surgeries.
(Click Reglan Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Brand-name Reglan tablets are manufactured by ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (the brand-name oral solution is no longer available). Generic Reglan tablets and oral solution are made by several different manufacturers.
Reglan has several actions in the digestive tract. It causes the esophageal sphincter (which closes the opening from the stomach up to the esophagus) to become more tight while causing the pyloric sphincter (which 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 stomach contents 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.