You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking this medication if you have:
- Gastrointestinal bleeding or perforation
- A gastrointestinal blockage
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Depression (or a history of depression)
- Parkinson's disease
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Congestive heart failure (CHF)
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Any other allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Reglan and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Reglan and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Metoclopramide to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
Metoclopramide has several actions in the digestive tract. It causes the esophageal sphincter (which closes the opening from the stomach up to the esophagus) to become more tight, while causing the pyloric sphincter (which closes the opening from the stomach out to the intestines) to relax. It increases the muscular contractions of the stomach and small intestines. All of these actions work together to help food move through the stomach more quickly (which is why metoclopramide is effective for diabetic gastroparesis treatment). Metoclopramide has little or no activity in the colon.
Metoclopramide helps with GERD by preventing the stomach contents from refluxing back up the esophagus, since it increases the tightness of the esophageal sphincter.
Metoclopramide helps to relieve nausea and vomiting by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain. Dopamine can activate the part of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting, and blocking the receptors helps to alleviate nausea and vomiting symptoms.