The temptation to treat sobbing infants with available medications may
be overwhelming for parents, but in the process parents end up needlessly medicating their kids. Over the past decade it has been seen that the use of proton pump inhibitors (PPI), a group of drugs meant to reduce
gastric acid production, grew exponentially for babies below 1-year of age. There has been sevenfold increase in PPI prescriptions.
Advertising and pharmaceutical company promotion, as well as misleading misdiagnoses can be blamed for this increase.
Drugs typically used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
are not approved by the FDA for infants under the age of 1-year. Gastric acid is an early line of defense against bacteria and premature use
of these drugs increases the risk of pneumonia and
gastroenteritis. In infants, dietary changes should be made before
resorting to the use of acid reflux medications.
The study is published in the 'Journal of Pediatrics'.