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Metoclopramide HCl (Reglan®)

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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  • Metoclopramide is a drug commonly used for management of vomiting and gastrointestinal disorders in dogs and cats. The drug is classified as an anti-emetic (anti-vomiting) drug.
  • Metoclopramide blocks the chemical dopamine in parts of the brain to provide a central anti-vomiting effect.
  • Metoclopramide also stimulates the contraction of the stomach and of the upper portion of the small intestine. These actions occur without stimulating secretions of digestive enzymes.
  • Metoclopramide also increases the pressure at the lower esophageal sphincter. This can reduce or prevent stomach acid from entering the esophagus (a condition called gastro-esophageal reflux).
  • The drug is also used to stimulate stomach and intestinal motility when these motions are abnormally reduced.
  • Metoclopramide is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
  • This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is registered. for use in humans only.
  • Human formulations: Reglan® (Robins), Maxolon® (Beecham), Octamide® (Adria), Reclomide® (Major) and various generic preparations
  • Veterinary formulations: None

    Uses of Metoclopramide

  • Metoclopramide is most often prescribed to treat or prevent vomiting in dogs and cats. This drug can be used in pets vomiting from metabolic problems, such as kidney failure, in pets with gastroenteritis or in chemotherapy patients.
  • Metoclopramide is used in the treatment and long-term management of reflux disease to reduce acid injury to the esophagus (food tube).
  • Metoclopramide may be useful in treatment of conditions associated with decreased motility of the stomach and intestines, which can occur post-operatively (after surgery).

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, metoclopramide can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Metoclopramide should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • There have been occasional reports of changes in behavior and mental states. Cats may become very anxious, bordering on frenzied.
  • Metoclopramide may cause sedation, mild constipation and nausea.
  • Metoclopramide may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with metoclopramide. Such drugs include cimetidine, tetracycline, insulin, diazepam, atropine and digoxin.

    How Metoclopramide Is Supplied

  • Metoclopramide is available in 5 and 10 mg tablets and a 1 mg/ml syrup.
  • Metoclopramide injection is available as 5 mg/ml in multiple vial sizes.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • The typical dose administered to animals is 0.1 to 0.2 mg per pound (0.2 to 0.5 mg/kg) every six to eight hours orally, subcutaneously or intravenously.
  • It is often recommended to give metoclopramide 30 minutes before meals.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse or prevent the development of resistance.

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