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Conventional Medicine

Deadly Drug Given to Women to Increase Milk Supply

What risks are worth taking for the benefits of a drug? If you think doctors ask that question before prescribing, baby_breastfeedingtake a look at drug metoclopramide, prescribed to increase nursing mothers’ milk supply, even though it’s deadly and causes birth defects & permanent neurological damage.

by Heidi Stevenson

Just when you think that modern medicine has sunk as low as it could possibly go, you discover that the depravity goes yet deeper. A drug originally prescribed as an antipsychotic has found a new market: women trying to nurse their babies. This old drug became unsaleable because it can cause men to lactate. The fact that it also causes neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), a deadly condition caused only by modern medicine’s drugs, didn’t matter to most doctors who prescribed it, but the risk of a man developing leaky nipples … well, that made it hard to push.

That is, it did until some clever marketing fellow figured out that, instead of treating milk production as a side effect, the drug could be sold by describing it as a benefit!

So, it’s been recycled. It’s given to desperate mothers trying to nurse their babies. With no consideration for the potential harm to either mother or baby, many doctors consider metoclopramide to be a good choice for women to increase milk supply.

By the way, it’s pronounced as metə klo pra mide.

Brain Damage

If the potential harms of metoclopramide were mild and reversible, it might make sense to take the drug for stimulation of lactation. After all, breast feeding usually is best. However, is it worth the risk of a mother’s life, her baby’s life, or a lifetime of disfigurement and brain damage? That’s the risk of metoclopramide. It’s well documented. Adverse effects[1.2] include:

  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS): a form of encephalopathy, causes fever, leukocytosis, instability of the autonomic nervous system, muscle rigidity, confusion, rhabdomyolysis, agitation, delirium, and coma. NMS is deadly.
  • Tardive dyskinesia: involuntary movements of the face. This condition is disfiguring, often painful, and generally irreversible.
  • Extrapyramidal symptoms: a group of neurological symptoms, including muscle spasms, repetitive contractions, uncontrollable rapid eye blinking, repetitive distortions of the mouth and tongue (such as repeatedly & uncontrollably sticking the tongue out), and vocal disabilities. Medscape suggests that this group of symptoms occurs in greater than 10% of all young adults given the medication.
  • Cardiovascular: high blood pressure, low blood pressure, tachycardia, bradycardia, cardiac arrest, methemoglobinemia and/or sulfhemoglobinemia (blood conditions that result in loss of ability to carry oxygen to cells).

These are not common adverse effects. However, inability to provide adequate breast milk is not a physically painful condition, nor does it produce harm to the mother or baby. It’s difficult to imagine how any risk can be justified under these circumstances, let alone the risks of permanent disability, pain, disfigurement, and death. Yet, metoclopramide is commonly prescribed to women with nursing difficulties.

Are these conditions rare? Certainly. However, I have recently spent several hours with a woman who lost her adult son to NMS caused by metoclopramide. Completely helpless, she watched him die a most horrific death. In the case of this young man, that rare risk proved to be 100 percent. Theoretical risks look entirely different when you’re the one affected. The drug was prescribed for a different purpose—though it was every bit as unneeded as it is in women with nursing difficulties. I’ll be telling that story soon.

It’s claimed that metoclopramide is safe for babies. Yet, it’s known to enter the mother’s milk. So how can such a claim be made? It’s simple: If you don’t look for it, you don’t find it. Adequate studies simply are not done to investigate the risks to babies or the unborn.

Are most women and infants harmed by this practice? As far as we know, the answer is no … but no one examines them to see if there are changes to their brains or cardiovascular systems. So the truth is that we don’t know because no one looks. Does the drug result in chronic disease several years later? We simply do not know.

In elderly people with Parkinson’s disease, metoclopramide is known to cause encephalopathy.[34 Yet, doctors freely give this poison to breastfeeding women!

Nausea

You might be feeling nauseous at this point, but the story gets even worse. Metoclopramide is routinely used to prevent nausea from chemotherapy and pregnancy. According to a Medscape Neurology report:

Among women who had singleton births and who were exposed to metoclopramide, the rate of major congenital malformations was 5.3%; among those who were not exposed, the rate was 4.9% …

… Early exposure to metoclopramide also was not associated with significantly altered risk for minor or multiple congenital malformations[3]

First, they present data that demonstrates an increased rate of congenital malformations in babies whose mothers were given metoclopramide. Then, they state that there is no “significantly altered risk” for malformations!

Their own figures state that there will be an increase of 4 malformations in every thousand births as a direct result of metoclopramide. Perhaps that’s not a “significantly altered risk” to them—but I would imagine that, if they or their mothers knew that they were among the 4 out of 1,000, their view of the issue would be entirely different.

Keep in mind, also, that these figures represent only malformations. It tells us nothing of neurological damage that may be done—and that is, of course, the primary type of harm produced by metoclopramide.

Brand Names

Metoclopramide is sold under a large number of brand names. Here’s as complete a list, along with their manufacturers, as I’ve been able to put together:

  • Maxolon (Shire/Valeant)
  • Metozolv ODT (Salix Pharmaceuticals)
  • Reglan (Schwarz Pharma)
  • Degan (Lek)
  • Maxeran (Sanofi Aventis)
  • Primperan (Sanofi Aventis)
  • Pylomid (Bosnalijek)
  • Plazilin (Iran)
  • Tomit (Indonesia)
  • Cerucal (AWD Pharma)
  • Pramin (Rafa)
  • Plasil (Sanofi Aventis)
  • Pulin (Malaysia)
  • Pasperan (Syrian Arab Republic)

Any Limits?

Are there any limits to what the medical system is willing to do in support of Big Pharma? The use of a drug known to result in birth defects and cause horrific and permanent neurological and cardiovascular damage to increase a mother’s milk supply seems to indicate that there are none. Doctors will hide behind pseudo science and their ever-present and false claim to rely on evidence-based medicine. That way, they can hide behind their blinders and claim that when these adverse effects happen, it’s just a coincidence. In the end, they hide behind that well-worn excuse, “How could I have known?”

All too often, their first concern appears not to be their patients’ welfare. Otherwise, metoclopramide would hardly ever be used.

Sources:

  1. Metoclopramide, Medscape Drug Reference
  2. Metoclopramide Side Effects, Drugs.com
  3. Metoclopramide-induced Encephalopathy in Parkinson DiseaseMedscape Neurology, Bradley J. Robottom, MD, Lisa M. Shulman, MD, Karen E. Anderson, MD, William J. Weiner, MD.
  4. Metoclopramide During Early Pregnancy: How Safe? Medscape Neurology, Andrew M. Konitz, MD.
  5. Reglan (metoclopramide) tablets, ODT (Orally Disintegrating Tablets), and injection, FDA
  6. Reglan, metoclopramide tablet, FDA
  7. Metoclopramide use while Breastfeeding. Drugs.com

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