As if torturing the seemingly permanent detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were not bad enough, it has now been revealed by Al-Jazeera that an official manual recommends use of Reglan, a drug known to cause neurological disorders, to hunger striking detainees:
A new policy for force feeding hunger strikers at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay includes the recommended use of a controversial drug that may cause serious neurological disorders, including one that mimics Parkinson’s disease.
The UK-based human rights group, Reprieve, filed an incident report this week with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) demanding an immediate investigation into the use of the brain-altering drug, and asking the agency “to take all possible measures to prevent further use of metoclopramide in force-feeding at Guantanamo”.
Al Jazeera first documented the use of metoclopramide last month in an exclusive report about the government’s revised Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to deal with a massive hunger strike entering its fifth month.
More than 100 Gitmo detainees are refusing meals and military officials there have ordered dozens to be force-fed, a brutal procedure involving a mask, plastic tubing, powerful drugs and restraints, as detailed in last month’s Al Jazeera report.
Metoclopramide, commonly known by its brand name Reglan, is supposed to speed up the digestive process and remove the urge to vomit during force feeding.
However, medical studies into the drug have determined that Reglan also is linked to a high rate of tardive dyskinesia (TD), a potentially irreversible and disfiguring disorder characterized by involuntary movements of the face, tongue, or extremities.
The studies prompted the FDA in February 2009 to slap Reglan with a black box label – the agency’s strongest warning – to inform patients about the dangers associated with chronic use of the drug…
[continues at Al-Jazeera]