Doctors may be overprescribing antireflux medications to infants. New research suggests that fewer than 1 in 5 babies given anti-reflux medications, which work by lowering levels of stomach acid, actually had elevated acid levels. Four out of five may simply be experiencing normal infant regurgitation—"spitting up."
"In the absence of red flags, such as a child who is not gaining weight, has feeding problems, or a learned aversion to food, a chronic cough or recurrent respiratory problems or apnea, regurgitation may not require medication," said study author Vikram Khoshoo, a pediatric gastroenterologist at West Jefferson Medical Center in New Orleans. The findings are published in the November issue of Pediatrics. —HealthDay