This medication is used to treat certain conditions of the stomach and intestines. Metoclopramide is used as a short-term treatment (4 to 12 weeks) for persistent heartburn when the usual medicines do not work well enough. It is used mostly for heartburn that occurs after a meal or during the daytime. Treating persistent heartburn can decrease the damage done by stomach acid to the swallowing tube (esophagus) and help healing. Metoclopramide is also used in diabetic patients who have poor emptying of their stomachs (gastroparesis). Treating gastroparesis can decrease symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and stomach/abdominal fullness. Metoclopramide works by blocking a natural substance (dopamine). It speeds up stomach emptying and movement of the upper intestines. This drug is not recommended for use in children due to an increased risk of serious side effects (such as muscle spasms/uncontrolled muscle movements). Ask the doctor or pharmacist for details.
See also Warning section. Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking metoclopramide and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth 30 minutes before meals and at bedtime, usually 4 times daily or exactly as directed by your doctor. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. If you are using the disintegrating tablet, do not remove the tablet from the blister pack until right before your dose. Dry your hands before using this medication. Do not use the tablet if it is broken or crumbled. Immediately after removing the tablet, place it on the tongue. Allow it to dissolve completely, then swallow it with saliva. You do not need to take this product with water. The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). If heartburn only occurs at certain times (such as after the evening meal), your doctor may direct you to take a single dose before those times instead of taking it throughout the day. This will reduce your risk of side effects. Because of the risk of tardive dyskinesia, do not take this more often, in larger doses, or for longer than directed by your doctor. According to the manufacturer, treatment should not exceed 12 weeks. To treat diabetic gastroparesis, this medication is usually taken for 2 to 8 weeks until your gut is working well. This condition may recur from time to time. Your doctor may direct you to start taking this medication as soon as your symptoms reappear and stop when you feel better. Ask your doctor for directions for starting and stopping this medication. Take this medication regularly as directed to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times before a meal each day. If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as dizziness, nervousness, headaches). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used metoclopramide for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
See also Warning section. Drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness, trouble sleeping, agitation, headache, and diarrhea may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (such as anxiety, confusion, depression, thoughts of suicide), decreased sexual ability, inability to keep still/need to pace, muscle spasms/uncontrolled muscle movements (such as twisting neck, arching back), Parkinson-like symptoms (such as shaking, slowed/difficult movement, mask-like facial expression), abnormal breast-milk production, enlarged/tender breasts, swelling of the hands/feet, changes in menstruation in women. This medication may rarely cause a very serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, muscle stiffness, severe confusion, sweating, fast/irregular heartbeat. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: antipsychotic drugs (such as aripiprazole, haloperidol), atovaquone, dopamine agonists (such as cabergoline, pergolide, ropinirole), fosfomycin, pramlintide, phenothiazines (such as promethazine, prochlorperazine), rivastigmine. Metoclopramide causes food and medication to move through your stomach more quickly, which may affect the absorption of some drugs. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see if any of the drugs that you are taking may be affected. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness, including alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine). Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.