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Metoclopramide (Reglan)

How does this medicine work?

Metoclopramide (met-o-klo-prah-mide) is given to move food through the stomach into the small intestine quicker. This helps decrease gastroesophageal reflux or "GER" (stomach contents moving back up the esophagus), nausea and vomiting.

How should I give it?

Metoclopramide comes in liquid and pill form. It is usually given 3 to 4 times a day. Give it at regular times to keep a steady level in the bloodstream. Your child should be awake and alert when taking any medicine.

___ If using the liquid form, draw up the correct amount in the medicine dropper or oral syringe.

___ For infants younger than 1 year, mix the medicine with a small amount of formula or breast milk and give it with a bottle nipple before a feeding. Do not add medicine to a whole bottle because if your baby does not finish it, you will not know how much of the medicine was taken.

___ For children taking the liquid, give a small squirt of the medicine inside the cheek. To avoid choking, let your child swallow each squirt before giving more.

___ For children who cannot swallow pills:

  1. Crush it between 2 spoons, inside a plastic bag, or in folded paper.
  2. Mix the powder with a very small amount (about 1 teaspoon) of soft food, such as applesauce, chocolate syrup, ice cream, jelly, or yogurt. Make sure your child takes all of the mixture.

Other instructions:






Are there any precautions about food or other medicines?

For best results, it should be given 15 to 30 minutes before a feeding. If your child needs to eat and you cannot wait 15 to 30 minutes, give it along with the feeding. It is better to give the medicine with the feeding than to skip it.

Important: Check with the pharmacist if your child is taking any other medicines. Metoclopramide can move other medicines through the stomach quicker, so the body may have less chance to absorb them.

What should I do if a dose is missed?

If one dose is missed, give it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the regular dosing schedule. Never give a double dose.

If your child vomits (throws up) after receiving a dose, do not repeat the dose.

Call the doctor or nurse if your child misses or vomits 2 doses in a row.

What are the side effects?

  • sleepiness
  • restlessness
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • muscle stiffness in the tongue or neck

When should I call the doctor or nurse?

  • too sleepy
  • muscle stiffness or tremors
  • twitching
  • trouble breathing: call 911

What else do I need to know?

You and your child should know the names of all the medicines he or she is taking. Share this information with anyone involved in your child's care.

Always make sure you have enough medicine on hand. Each time you refill your prescriptions, check to see how many refills are left. If no refills are left, the pharmacist will need 2 or 3 days to contact the clinic to renew the prescription.

Before giving the first dose, read the label. Be sure it is what was prescribed. After a refill, if the medicine looks different to you, ask your pharmacist about it before giving it.

Check the label and expiration date before giving each dose. Ask your pharmacist what to do with outdated or unused medicines. If there is no "take-back" program, put them in the garbage.

Store all medicines in their original container and away from direct sunlight or heat. Do not store in humid places such as the bathroom. Keep them out of children's reach, locked up if possible.

If too much or the wrong kind of medicine is taken, call the Poison Control Center toll free at 1-800-222-1222. If your child is unconscious or has a seizure, call 911.


This sheet is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call your clinic or pharmacy.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Last reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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