Lawsuit blames drug-induced Parkinson 's on reflux medicine

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Mar. 2, 2011, 9:19am

MARSHALL - Three Texas residents claim they are suffering from a drug-induced Parkinson 's disease after taking the prescription drug Reglan as treatment for acid reflux. They are suing the drug's manufacturer for failing to adequately warn of the drug's risks.

Ronald Cherry, Donnie Collins and J.E. Godwin filed suit against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Pliva Inc., formerly known as Sidmark Laboratories Inc., Pliva D.D. Barr Pharmaceuticals formerly known as Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc., Barr Laboratories Inc., Watson Laboratories Inc. and Richmond Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Feb. 23 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

"Reglan/Metoclopramide is a prescription medication classified as a
gastrointestinal stimulant, antiemetic and dopamine antagonist," the original complaint states. "The drug is available in the form of a tablet (5mg/10mg), an injection, or syrup. Reglan/Metoclopramide is indicated for adult short-term therapy of
symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux and acute and recurrent diabetic gastric stasis."

The drug Reglan is used to treat gastrointestinal disorders but has been linked to an increase risk of tardive dyskinesia, a condition that results in involuntary and repetitive movements of the body. Currently, there is no known treatment for tardive dyskinesia.
In some patients, the syndrome's symptoms may be reduced in the weeks or months following the cessation of the drug.

The Food and Drug Administration required the drug's manufacturers to provide a new box warning in February 2009. The new warning stated "chronic treatment with metoclopramide can cause tardive dyskinesia, a serious movement that is often irreversible."

In addition, the new warning stated "prolonged treatment (greater than 12 weeks) with metoclopramide should be avoided in all but rare cases."

Plaintiff Cherry developed tardive dyskinesia after taking Reglan for approximately 10 years. He claims he was unaware that the drug was not recommended for long-term use.

Plaintiff Collins was using Reglan for treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease from February 2002 to September 2003. According to the lawsuit, Collins started exhibiting abnormal movements in mid-2009, and was diagnosed with Reglan-induced Parkinson's disease, Orobuccolingual dyskinesia and tardive dyskinesia.

Plaintiff Godwin was prescribed Reglan from September 2008 until March 2010. He was diagnosed with tardive dyskinesia in mid-2009.

Causes of action filed against the defendants include negligence, strict liability, failure to warn, marketing defect and manufacturing defect, misrepresentation, deceptive trade practices, fraud and breach of implied and express warranties.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants failed to use due care in developing, testing, designing and manufacturing the drug, failing to provide proper or adequate warnings regarding the adverse side effects, failing to conduct adequate pre-clinical and clinical testing, and failing to adequately train medical providers regarding the appropriate use.

Cherry, Collins and Godwin are seeking damages for medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical disfigurement, physical impairment, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, interest, exemplary damages, attorneys' fees, court costs and treble damages.

The plaintiffs are represented by Douglas C. Monsour, D. Douglas Grubbs and Cecile W. Crabtree of The Monsour Law Firm in Longview.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00115

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