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Metoclopramide speeds up the rate at which the stomach empties its contents into the intestines. It  is used for short-term treatment of heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux . Metoclopramide is also used to treat slow emptying of food from the stomach in people with diabetes (also called diabetic gastroparesis), which can cause nausea, vomiting, heartburn, loss of appetite, and a feeling of fullness after meals. It is used to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy or migraine.

How it works

Metoclopramide belongs to a class of drugs called anti-emetics that works against a chemical called dopamine secreted in intestine and brain. It works on a part of intestine and brain that controls vomiting sensations and speeds up  emptying of stomach.

Common side effects

Nausea, Diarrhoea, Frequent urge to urinate, Absence of menstrual periods, Breast enlargement, Decreased sexual function, Drowsiness, Fatigue, Dizziness, Headache


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Expert advice

  • Take metoclopramide half an hour before your meals.
  • Consult a doctor immediately if you begin to have repetitive movements of the eyes, tongue, face, arm, or legs.
  • Do not take the medicine if you are allergic to it.
  • Do not take this drug if you are breast-feeding.
  • Do not o drive or operate heavy machinery after taking this drug as it can make you feel drowsy.
  • Avoid taking alcohol till you know how the drug affects your body.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is metoclopramide antacid, anticholinergic, antihistamine, steroid, antipsychotic or antibiotic?
Metoclopramide is not antacid, anticholinergic, antihistamine, steroid, antipsychotic or antibiotic. It is an antiemetic drug belonging to class of dopamine antagonists. 
Q. Is Metoclopramide/Reglan safe?
Metoclopramide/Reglan is a relatively safe drug if used in prescribed dose for prescribed duration as advised by your doctor.

Q. How long can I take it?
 Do not take it for more than 12 weeks.
Q. Are there any serious side-effects associated with metoclopramide?
Metoclopramide might cause side-effects like hallucinations, decreased consciousness, allergies, slowing of heartbeats, shaking, low blood pressure, or depression.
Q. Can I take metoclopramide with diazepam?
Metoclopramide may increase the sedative effect of diazepam. Consult your doctor before taking the drug if you are also taking cetrizine, digoxin, mevacuronium, levodopa or codeine.
Q. Is metoclopramide available over the counter?
No. Metoclopramide is not available as an over the counter (OTC) drug. It is dispensed only upon a valid prescription from a doctor.
Q. Does affect birth control?
There is no evidence of metoclopramide affecting birth control or contraception. Please consult your doctor to confirm whether you require a secondary birth control measure while taking the medicine.

Content on this page was last updated on 17 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)