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What you should find out before taking metoclopramide

Do not take metoclopramide if you have
- bleeding, an injury, or an obstruction in your stomach;
- pheochromocytoma; or
- epilepsy or another seizure disorder.

These conditions make it dangerous to use metoclopramide.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have:
- kidney disease;
- a history of depression;
- Parkinson's disease;
- diabetes;
- high blood pressure; or
- recently had stomach surgery.

You may not be able to take metoclopramide, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Metoclopramide is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is unlikely to harm an unborn baby. Do not take metoclopramide without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

Metoclopramide passes into breast milk. Do not take metoclopramide without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

What is metoclopramide

Metoclopramide increases the rate at which the stomach and intestines move during digestion. It also increases the rate at which the stomach empties into the intestines and increases the strength of the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscle between the stomach and esophagus).

Metoclopramide is used to treat diabetic gastric stasis (slow movement of the stomach), which causes symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn, decreased appetite, and prolonged fullness after eating. It is also used to treat gastric reflux or heartburn (the regurgitation of stomach acid into the esophagus), prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting, prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, facilitation of small bowel intubation, and to facilitate x-ray examination of the stomach and intestines.

Metoclopramide may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

How should take metoclopramide

Take metoclopramide exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

To ensure that you get a correct dose, measure the liquid form of metoclopramide with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

Metoclopramide is available as both a syrup and a concentrated solution. Although the dose remains the same, the amount of liquid needed to make a dose is different. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Metoclopramide is usually taken four times a day, 30 minutes before meals and at bedtime. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Store metoclopramide at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose:

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a metoclopramide overdose include drowsiness; confusion; uncontrollable movements of the arms, legs, face, or tongue; muscle spasm of the neck; tremor; irritability; and agitation.

Avoid while taking metoclopramide

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Metoclopramide may cause drowsiness. If you experience drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Possible side effects of metoclopramide

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking metoclopramide and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- uncontrollable movements or spasms of your arms, legs, lips, jaw, tongue, face, or other body part;
- anxiety, agitation, jitteriness, difficulty breathing, or insomnia;
- depression;
- yellowing of the skin or eyes;
- changes in vision;
- an irregular heartbeat; or
- seizures or hallucinations.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take metoclopramide and talk to your doctor if you experience
- nausea or diarrhea;
- dizziness, drowsiness, or headache;
- confusion;
- fluid retention (swelling of hands or legs, bloating);
- breast tenderness or swelling;
- changes in your menstrual cycle; or
- increased frequency of urination.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect metoclopramide

Tell your doctor if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), or phenelzine (Nardil) in the last 14 days. Metoclopramide must be used very cautiously if you are taking any of these medicines.

Before taking metoclopramide, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
- digoxin (Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps);
- cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral);
- tetracycline (Sumycin, others);
- levodopa (Larodopa, Dopar, Sinemet);
- insulin;
- a narcotic pain reliever such as morphine (MS Contin, MSIR, others), codeine, hydrocodone (Vicodin, Hycodan), oxycodone (Percocet, Percodan, Tylox, OxyContin), oxymorphone (Numorphan), and others; or
- clidinium (Quarzan), dicyclomine (Bentyl), hyoscyamine (Levsin, Cystospaz, Anaspaz), belladonna (Donnatal), or propantheline (Pro-Banthine).

You may not be able to take metoclopramide, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Metoclopramide may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain relievers, anxiety medicines, and muscle relaxants. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any medicine unless your doctor approves.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with metoclopramide. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

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