The study found that fewer than one in five babies given anti-reflux medications, which work by lowering levels of stomach acid, actually had elevated acid levels. That means four out of five infants included in the study likely didn’t need anti-reflux medications, and may have simply been experiencing normal infant regurgitation commonly referred to as “spitting up.”
Reflux is common in infants. In fact, more than half experience reflux symptoms during the first three months of life, according to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Symptoms of reflux include spitting up, vomiting, coughing, feeding difficulty and irritability.
Anti-Reflux Drugs are probably overprescribed because parents want to do something, anything to try to stop their babies’ regurgitation and irritability.
Take care not to overfeed your infant and make sure he or she is positioned so that their bodies are at least somewhat upright after eating will help to lessen reflux symptoms. Another critical thing parents can do, is make sure that children aren’t exposed to secondhand smoke, which can increase reflux symptoms.
There are certain signs that indicate your baby should be evaluated by a specialist. If your child throws up blood, a substance that looks like coffee grounds, or if there’s green in the vomit, your child should be seen right away. Also, if your child isn’t gaining weight or is even losing weight, if you can hear significant choking sounds, if there’s a chronic cough or hoarseness that accompanies regurgitation, your child should see a gastroenterologist.