Antacids For Infant Reflux
If diet and behavioral changes do not alleviate your child's symptoms, antacids for infant reflux may be another approach. By far the most common of these non-prescription treatments is the use of common antacids, such as Gaviscon.
Each antacid works in a different way, some with a single action and others work in a combination of ways, including:
The drug works to encourage gas bubbles to fuse together, the result being that the gas is more easily brought up with a burp. Other antacids such as Infant Gaviscon contain alginic acid, which floats on top of stomach contents, creating a barrier that prevents those contents from refluxing into the esophagus.
One downside of using these types of antacids with an infant is that the medication works best when the user remains in an upright position, something babies are not able to do.
Further, Gavison is not generally recommended for use in infants anymore, because of the potential hazards of the drug's high sodium and aluminum contents.
Other commonly known antacids like Maalox and Mylanta work to neutralize the stomach acid; these formulas are composed of a metal ion (such as magnesium) and an alkali (such as bicarbonate).
Most antacids are not suitable for use in babies, but there are some that are widely used in the treatment of infant reflux ( see Zantac and Infant Reflux ) . Antacids containing simethicone (such as Infacol) work to reduce the amount of gas in the child's stomach.
However, while it can be assumed that decreasing the amount of stomach acid will effectively lessen the symptoms of reflux, there have been few studies as to the effectiveness on young children of antacids that work in this way.
Care should be taken when using Gaviscon, Maalox and Mylanta these products can, in large doses, have a laxative effect. Further, chronic use of these products may increase the child's risk of getting rickets.
Because antacids are so readily available, there is a misconception that they are harmless. This is not true. Keep in mind that stomach acid is there for a reason.
It helps the body digest protein, it protects us from germs in the things we eat and drink, and it promotes the growth of good bacteria in the intestines. Altering that balance can have consequences even in babies and therefore antacids for infant reflux should be used with care.
That being said, they can be, if administered under the direction of a physician, an extremely effective way to manage acid reflux in your little one.
If your baby has been diagnosed with acid reflux, then your doctor may prescribe Zantac. One use for Zantac is to prevent stomach acid from being so acidic. To learn more about how Zantac can help with your baby's reflux, click here.
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