Self-assumed Neurologic Related Condition Deviated Metoclopramide-Induced Acute Dystonic of Oculogyric Crisis in a Woman of Childbearing Age: A Case Report

Nahlah Elkudssiah Ismail, Ambika Nand Jha, Khang Wen Goh, Long Chiau Ming, Mohd Shahezwan Abd Wahab, Nehal J. Shah, Akshay H. Shah, Andi Hermansyah

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A 26-year-old Malaysian woman (childbearing age) attended a private primary care clinic with a known case of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and complained of persistent nausea and a few episodes of vomiting. She had no known drug allergy, no surgical history, no hospitalization in the last two years, was a non-smoker, and no history of drug or alcohol abuse. The patient was prescribed Tab metoclopramide 10 mg TDS and Tab ranitidine 150 mg BD for five days. About 30 min after oral administration of both medicines, her eyes rolled involuntary upward, leading to lateral deviation of the eyes, and mouth jaws clenched as if “dislocated jaws.” The patient was immediately brought into an emergency department (ED) of a public tertiary care hospital. A drug challenge test was done which resulted in the withdrawal of metoclopramide. The accompanied sister later disclosed that the patient had taken metoclopramide and ranitidine from a private clinic earlier in the day. The patient self-assumed to have a sudden seizure, due to excessive hot weather and dehydration. A slow intravenous infusion of 50 mg/mL diphenhydramine hydrochloride in 0.9% w/v NaCl 100 mL was administered stat. Consequently, the symptoms vanished after approximately 30 min of the therapy, devoid of relapse. The patient was discharged from ED post 8 hours of monitoring with complete recovery. Physicians frequently prescribe metoclopramide to treat nausea and vomiting, which may cause adverse drug reaction of acute dystonic oculogyric crisis (OGC). Due to its unwanted and unpredictable extrapyramidal symptoms, metoclopramide should be prescribed and dispensed with caution. Thorough history taking at ED is imperative for correct early diagnosis and treatment, as metoclopramide-induced dystonic OGC has a high probability of confusion with other causes of dystonia such as conversion and seizures, encephalitis, tetanus, and hypercalcemic tetany.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-400
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Adverse drug reaction
  • Drug safety
  • Dystonic reactions
  • Medical care
  • Metoclopramide
  • Oculogyric crisis
  • Patient safety


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