Tuesday, January 22

Medical Therapy

The treatment of reflux depends upon the infant’s symptoms and age. Some babies may not need any treatment, as GER can resolve in many cases without treatment. Healthy, happy babies may only need the feedings thickened with cereal and to be kept upright after they are fed. Over feeding can aggravate reflux, and your health care provider may suggest different ways of handling the problem. For example, smaller volume with more frequent feeding can help decrease the chances of regurgitating. If a food allergy is suspected they may ask you to change the baby’s formula (or modify the mother’s diet if the baby is breastfed) for one to two weeks. If a child is not growing well, feedings with higher calorie content or tube feeding may be recommended.

1. When a child is uncomfortable, or has difficulty sleeping, eating or growing, the doctor or nurse may suggest a medication. Different types of medicine can be used to treat reflux by decreasing the acid secreted by the stomach. One class of these medications is the H2-blockers such as cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), famotidine (Pepcid) and nizatidine (Axid). Another type of medication is the proton-pump inhibitors such as esomeprazole (Nexium), omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex) and pantoprazole (Protonix).
2. Very rarely do infants have severe GER that prevents them from growing or cause breathing problems. In some of these infants, surgery may be the best option.

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