What treatments have been effective for your infant's or child's GERD or acid reflux?
Share your story with others:
MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.
How are GER and GERD treated in infants and children?
It is rare for an infant with GER to generate substantial discomfort, demonstrate aversion to
feeding, or show suboptimal weight gain. Conversely, toddlers
and older children may experience more substantial symptoms, and thus may need a
trial of lifestyle modifications including:
mild elevation of the head of bed,
serving smaller but more frequent meals,
monitoring your child's diet to determine whether specific foods or drinks
may tend to aggravate his or her symptoms, and
weight reduction if indicated.
There are several groups of medications that may need to be considered in
certain cases of infant GER (rare) or toddler/childhood GERD. These
Medication to lessen gas, for example, Mylicon or
Medication to neutralize stomach acid, for example,
Mylanta or Maalox
Medication to lessen stomach acid histamine blockers,
for example, ranitidine (Zantac), famotidine (Pepcid) or cimetidine (Tagamet), and
proton pump inhibitors or PPIs, for example, omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole
(Prevacid) or rabeprazole (Aciphex)
Medication to promote emptying of stomach contents, for
example, metoclopramide (Reglan,
however, it has a number of side effects) or erythromycin
(more routinely used as an antibiotic but known to have side the effect of
increasing stomach contractions, but may be helpful with GERD)
The use of these medications follows a stepwise approach (from #1 to #4)
based upon severity of symptoms. Consultation with a pediatric
gastroenterologist may be helpful for patients whose response to the above
approach is disappointing.
There are very cases where children whose GERD is so severe that a surgical
procedure must be considered to manage symptoms. The procedure, called
Nissen fundoplication, involves wrapping the top part of the stomach around
the lower esophagus. The displaced stomach contracts during the digestive
process, and thus closes off the lower esophagus and prevents reflux. In
extraordinary circumstances, a feeding tube directly into the stomach is
necessary to complement the Nissen fundoplication.