GERD in Infants and Children (cont.)

Drugs to Improve Intestinal Coordination

  • Propulsid. This drug was voluntarily withdrawn from the U.S. market in 2000; however, it is still available with very limited access. The drug works by increasing the pressure of the lower esophageal sphincter and increasing emptying of the stomach and the rate that food moves through the intestines. This helps reduce esophageal exposure to stomach contents. The drug is very effective for treating childhood reflux. However, the drug is associated with a abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Reglan. This is another medication that helps speed up the digestion process. However, it is also associated with many side effects, some of which can be serious.
  • Erythromycin. This is an antibiotic usually used to treat bacterial infections. One common side effect of erythromycin is that it causes strong stomach contractions. This side effect is advantageous when the drug is used to treat reflux.

Surgery for Reflux in Children

Surgery isn't often needed to treat reflux in children. When it is necessary, the Nissen fundoplication is the most often performed surgery. During this procedure, the top part of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus forming a cuff that contracts and closes off the esophagus whenever the stomach contracts -- preventing reflux.

The procedure is usually effective, but it is not without risk. Discuss the potential risks and benefits of this operation with your child's doctor.

WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
American Association of Family Physicians.
Medscape.
Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on July 11, 2012


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/11/2012

© 2005-2014 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Source article on WebMD


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