GERD in Infants and Children (cont.)
In this Article
- GERD and Acid Reflux in Infants and Children Introduction
- What are the symptoms of acid reflux in infants and children?
- What causes GERD and acid reflux in infants and children?
- How is acid reflux diagnosed in infants and children?
- What are the treatments for acid reflux in infants and children?
- Medications for GERD
- Drugs to lessen gas
- Drugs to neutralize or decrease stomach acid
- Drugs to improve intestinal coordination
- Surgery for reflux in children
- Find a local Pediatric Gastroenterology in your town
What Are the Treatments for Acid Reflux in Infants and Children?
There are a variety of lifestyle measures you can try for acid reflux in your child:
- Elevating the head of the baby's crib or bassinet.
- Hold the baby upright for 30 minutes after a feeding.
- Thicken bottle feedings with cereal (do not do this without a doctor's supervision).
- Change feeding schedules.
- Try solid food (with your doctor's approval).
For older children:
- Elevate the head of the child's bed.
- Keep the child upright for at least two hours after eating.
- Serving several small meals throughout the day, rather than two or three large meals.
- Limiting foods and beverages that seem to worsen your child's reflux.
- Encourage your child to get regular exercise
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If the reflux is severe or doesn't get better, your doctor may recommend drugs to treat it.
Medications for GERD
Drugs to Lessen Gas
Drugs to Neutralize or Decrease Stomach Acid
- Antacids such as Mylanta and Maalox
- Histamine-2 (H2) blockers such as Axid, Pepcid, Tagamet, or Zantac
- Proton-pump inhibitors such as Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Aciphex, and Protonix.
Researchers aren't sure whether decreasing stomach acid lessens reflux in infants.
For the most part, drugs that decrease intestinal gas or neutralize stomach acid (antacids) are very safe. At high doses, antacids can cause some side effects, such as diarrhea. Chronic use of very high doses of Maalox or Mylanta may be associated with an increased risk of rickets (thinning of the bones) or vitamin B12 deficiency.
Side effects from medications that inhibit the production of stomach acid are quite uncommon. A small number of children may develop some sleepiness when they take Zantac, Pepcid, Axid, or Tagamet.
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