Tardive dyskinesia is one of the most devastating of all drug-induced movement disorders, according to Dr Peter Breggin, author of about twenty books, including "Medication Madness."
"The abnormal movements or spasms can strike any of the muscles that are under voluntary control, including muscles of the face, eyes, mouth, tongue, neck, shoulders, arms, legs, hands, and feet," he says. "Breathing, speaking, and swallowing can also be impaired."
"Tardive dyskinesia often looks so "strange" or "bizarre" that it is mistaken for a mental illness rather than a neurological disorder," he notes.
Reglan can also cause uncontrolled muscle spasms (dystonia), Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, Parkinsonism, depression, thoughts of suicide, and suicide. Common side effects include feeling restless, sleepy, tired, dizzy, or exhausted, headache, confusion, and trouble sleeping, according to a June 9, 2009, FDA approved medication guide.
Pregnant Women Targeted
Four months after the black box for TD was announced, a New England Journal of Medicine study claimed that Reglan was safe for pregnant women with morning sickness.
The news of the study was sent out to all the media outlets and a massive off-label marketing campaign followed to promote the sale of Reglan to pregnant women, with journalists publishing almost identical talking points.
Reporter, Linda Johnson, put out articles through the Associated Press newswire which resulted in headlines such as, "Study Suggests Drug Is Safe For Morning Sickness," popping up all over the internet and for major media stories for a couple weeks.