I have had a lingering migraine for the last three days and when I woke up this morning it had progressed to being the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. So, my lovely boyfriend hunted down an urgent care and drove me there. Of course, upon arrival I was informed that my insurance isn’t accepted until after 4pm so I needed to go to St. Joe’s ER. I did. I almost immediately got in a room and after just a little bit the PA came in to examine me. He was not very good with his bedside manner and essentially made me feel like I was to blame for my horrible migraine. He then said that the medicine Reglan is very effective for the treatment of severe migraines but that it can cause you to feel like you are going to “crawl out of your skin” so to ward off this side effect he was also going to give me Benadryl. Using Reglan for migraines is news to me but I agreed and the nurse came in, started my IV and administered the Reglan then the Benadryl.
Less than two minutes later an employee came in to gather my insurance information. During this I started to feel like my extremities were extremely heavy and like I was going in and out of consciousness and I started feeling confused (I couldn't even verbalize where my health insurance card was in my wallet.) After about a minute I started to feel like I was having difficulty breathing and that’s when the full blown anxiety attack hit me. I was screaming and crying and making the biggest scene but it was all out of my control. In my head I knew I could breath and I kept telling myself that it was going to pass but all I could say was “I can’t breath,” “I shouldn’t have done this,” “I need to pee,” “someone please make this stop” and “this is not right.” The only person who even tried to calm me down was my amazing boyfriend. Everyone else just stared. Luckily this horrible feeling ceased after about 5 minutes when the Benadryl kicked in. Then all I heard was the PA mocking me saying “ohhh someone stop this, I need help” and explaining to the nurse that he should have given the Benadryl and THEN the Reglan so that the Benadryl would have kicked in first. I also heard them talking about how I shouldn’t have been warned about the side effects because I then brought them on myself. Way to make me feel like my concerns and experience were miniscule. Everything was so real to me, I really felt like I had difficulty breathing. I really was scared to fall asleep because I was afraid I would stop breathing. It was all real to me. It was all because I was given IV Reglan. It doesn’t help that I weigh less than 100 pounds and was given an adult dose when I probably would have benefitted from a pediatric based dose. Yes, my migraine is gone so at least that is nice but now I’m left with a fear of ever taking IV medication again. I slept for 6 hours and still don’t feel quite right. And no Mr. PA, I did not bring on the anxiety attack myself because you warned me about it. I did not make it up in my head. 1 in 1000 people have this reaction. It is very real. I will never take Reglan again.
Another important piece of information is that even one dose of Reglan (IV or by mouth) can cause irreversible, life-time side effects called tardive dyskinesia. One dose. Look it up. Be informed. Make sure that the benefits out-weigh the risks before letting yourself or a loved-one receive this medication
P.S. My migraine was resolved thanks to the medication. If I went back, I never would have said yes to this treatment.