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What Is Metoclopramide Used For?

Metoclopramide is used for treating GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and diabetic gastroparesis. An injectable form of the drug is also approved for preventing nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy or surgery. Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend off-label metoclopramide uses, such as for stimulating breast milk production and treating morning sickness.

An Overview on Metoclopramide Uses

Metoclopramide (Reglan®) is a prescription medication approved for the short-term treatment of the following conditions:
 
This article focuses on metoclopramide tablets and oral solution (liquid). The medication is also available in injectable form (which is approved for various different uses, including preventing nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy or surgery).
 

Using Metoclopramide for GERD

Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) is caused by acid reflux into the esophagus. Acid reflux is a term meaning the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. The stomach is designed to be able to handle the acid it produces; the esophagus, however, is not. If too much stomach acid is in contact with the esophagus for too long, damage to the lining of the esophagus occurs, causing GERD symptoms (click What is GERD? for more information).
 
A few of the more common symptoms of GERD include heartburn, feeling like food is stuck in your throat, choking feelings, acidic or sour taste in the mouth, and chest pain. Metoclopramide is approved for the short-term treatment (12 weeks or less) of GERD. It works by helping the esophageal sphincter (that controls the opening between the stomach and the esophagus) to close more tightly. Studies have shown that metoclopramide can help relieve symptoms and can also heal erosions and ulcers caused by GERD. Metoclopramide is only approved to treat GERD in people who have already unsuccessfully tried more conventional GERD treatment (such as antacids or acid reducers).
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