The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) updated their guidelines on Jan 2015, all treatments offered by the NHS are in accordance with these.
Non medical therapies
Non-medication therapies for Gastro-oesophageal Reflux (GOR) have been proven to be very effective in many cases. If you are sure there are no warning signs that you should be looking out for and the spitting up feeds is becoming distressing to you or your infant, then the following suggestions may help. Please note they can take 2-3 weeks before any improvement is seen:
- Avoid over-feeding
- Ask your medical professional about appropriate sized bottles or
- Avoid exposure to smoke (tobacco/other): this causes irritability
- Burp (wind) your baby frequently before, during and after feeding
- Keep your baby upright after feeds for at least 30 minutes
- Avoid the use of car seats immediately after feeding
- Avoid clothing or nappies that are tight around the abdomen
- Where possible try not to lay your infant flat
- A 30-degree angle above horizontal is recommended
- Raise the mattress or head of the cot
- Place a cushion under your infant’s head when changing nappies
Your doctor may also advise a trial of a hypoallergenic formula if bottle feeding, or if breast feeding a removal of dairy or soy milk proteins from the mothers diet to evaluate if symptoms are, connected to a food allergy. Because exclusion of milk from your diet, or of cow or soy milk from your infant’s diet can compromise nutritional status and require supplements, this should be done under the supervision of a doctor or dietician.
Thickening milk – Sometimes a doctor may recommend that formula milk be thickened to help the baby to keep it down. A commercial thickener maybe prescribed or your doctor may simply suggest using baby rice or oatmeal – please note it is important to seek advice from a health care professional first, as there may be dietary implications when adding to baby’s feeds.
Infant Gaviscon – Often the first medication prescribed for reflux in babies and children. Infant Gaviscon thickens the milk making it easier for the child to cope with.
Medications – Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD)
The following medications may be considered by your doctor, if GORD is suspected
Histamine-2-receptor antagonists (H2-blockers) H2-blockers are drugs that block or prevent the production of gastric (stomach) acid. A pump in the stomach releases hydrochloric acid when stimulated by histamine. H2 blocks prevent histamine from stimulating this pump, thereby reducing the amount of acid released into the stomach.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s):
PPI´s are an effective way of reducing acid secretion in the stomach, as they stop acid secretions directly at the source of acid production. They work by shutting down a system within the stomach known as proton pumps.
They are usually most effective when given in a single dose before the first meal of the day. Timing of the dose it critical to the success of PPI’s. Incorrect administration can often be a reason why the treatment fails. Although there are circumstances were an additional dose may be required in the evening.
The most common PPI’s prescribed are omeprazole and lansoprazole, some of which can now be obtained in a syrup form.
Prokinetic agents (motility drugs):
These medications speed up the gastric emptying of the stomach. Some of them also help to close the sphincter muscle at the opening of the stomach.
The most common motility drug prescribed in the United Kingdom is ‘Domperidone’, and should be given 20 to 30 minutes before food. Domperidome is prescribed dependent on the weight of your child. If the medication is no longer proving effective, you should check with a member of your medical profession.
**In April 2014 new revised recommendationswere released, stating who should be prescribed domeridome, what dosage and the duration of time for. We recommend you contact your health care provider if you have any concerns. You can find further information here. www.cas.dh.gov.uk**
In extremely rare cases of GORD were all other treatment has failed and life threatening symptoms are present, a surgical approach may be considered, the most common at present is the Nissans Fundoplication.
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