Throw Away Those Bibs! Help is at Hand for Infants with GERD

Some news releases bring out my inner cynic.  Like today's news that FDA has just approved AstraZeneca's Nexium for that grossly underserved population:  patients whose digestive systems are not yet formed, yet who show signs of having the dreaded gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.   I realize that there are babies who have GERD out there.  But now, thanks to the knee-jerk responses of helicopter parents-in-training and some physicians who are a bit too eager to please, the medication can now be used to treat one- to- two-year-old patients who spit up....which, in theory, could be...every one-year-old on the planet.  Thankfully, the drug's safety and efficacy have not been established in children under one year of age.  An article on Kids Health, reviewed by Dr. Stephen Dowshen, asked whether many children were already being administered anti reflux medications for all the wrong reasons.  His article (read it here) cited a recent study in Pediatrics which looked at 44 babies with reflux, most of whom were receiving antireflux medications.  Only 8% of them could be considered to have true GERD symptoms. In another case of "is the cure worse than the condition," just look at the pleasant side effects of taking this medication: headache, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, gas, constipation, dry mouth and sleepiness.  I'd take the bibs any day. AMS
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