Acid suppressants may not be the easy answer parents are seeking

The use of acid suppressants is on the rise

  • When it comes to addressing reflux in infants, the use of acid suppressants is trending upwards. In 2010 alone, lansoprazole was prescribed more than 500,000 times to pediatric patients 0 - 23 months of age, while ranitidine was prescribed over 690,000 times.1

    Prevalence of PPI Graph

    Reprinted with permission from J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr.

    These prescriptions can come with serious risks for infants. Acid suppression has been shown to increase the incidence of acute gastroenteritis, community-acquired pneumonia, and C. difficile infection.3,4

    Is it GER or GERD? The answer can make the difference

    Is an acid suppressant the better option? That may depend on whether your patients have common infant gastroesophageal reflux (GER) or more severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

    Regurgitation and irritability can lead parents to believe that their baby needs medication.5,6 But this may not always be the case. More than two-thirds of otherwise healthy infants experience normal uncomplicated reflux or GER.7 True GERD in infants is far less common, far more complicated, and may not require PPI therapy.

    GER8

    • Normal passage of stomach contents into the esophagus, often leading to regurgitation in health infants

    GERD7,8

    • Weight loss
    • Poor weight gain
    • Dysphagia
    • Anorexia or feeding refusal
    • Sleep disturbance
    • Arching of the back during feedings
    • Vomiting associated with irritability
    • Respiratory symptoms
  • Acid Suppresant PDF

    Thickened feedings as part of a frist-line approach based on expert guidance

    What can you do for infants with GER? Expert guidance from the AAP, NASPGHAN, and ESPGHAN states that thickened feedings and lifestyle changes are a first-line approach to manage GER.7,8

    Enfamil A.R. is a commercially thickened formula proven in a published, randomized, controlled trial to reduce regurgitation due to reflux by more than 50%.9 It's the reflux formula recommended most by pediatricians and chosen most by parents.10


  • AAP = American Academy of Pediatrics; ESPGHAN = European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition; NASPGHAN = North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition; PPI = proton pump inhibitor

    References: 1. Chai G et al. Pediatrics. 2012;130:23-31. 2. Barron JJ et al. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2007;45:421-427. 3. Berni Canani R et al. Pediatrics. 2006;117:e817-e820. 4. Freedberg DE et al. Clin finfect Dis. 2015;61:912-917. 5. Scherer LD et al. Pediatrics. 2013;131:839-845. 6. Hassall E. J Pediatr. 2012;160:193-198. 7. Lightdale JR et al. Pediatrics. 2013;131:e1684-e1695. 8. Vandenplas Y et al. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2009;49:498-547. 9. Vanderhoof JA et al. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2003;42:483-495. 10. Data on file, Mead Johnson Nutrition.