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Tell me about Zantac.

780 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  grisandole
Someone please tell me the good and the bad about giving Zantac to an infant with severe reflux. The kind of 4 mo old infant who is not gaining weigh which might be from spitting up so much all the time.

I was given the script last month and have not filled it. I also was given an order for an upper GI.

Please any alternatives would be appreciated as well.

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I had an rx for Zantac and never took it. The thing that bothered me was that it states on the product info sheet that taking Zantac (and other similar meds) will increase your chaces of food poisioning as it lowers the stomach acid which kills bacteria. I'd rather have heartburn than food poisoning, lol. My reflux stays under control with a proper diet, which for me is low carb/moderate to high protien, and lots of fruit and veggies. With a 4mo old I have no idea....

BTW, I am Celiac as well...are you breastfeeding? If so, are you gluten free? If not, then going gluten free might resolve the issue. If you are gluten free, I have no advice.
I took liquid Zantac when I had gallstones, it helped to prevent attacks. I was on it for 10months before I had my surgery, then I stayed on it for a couple of months(didn't really trust that the surgery would stop the attacks as I was originally put on it when I was asymptomatic for gallstones but we knew I had them). I weaned myself off over the next month or 2. A couple of months later my dd was put on liquid zantac for reflux. That combined with Gripe Water did help how often she was spitting & it helped her be able to sleep at night. IF she didn't get them she'd scream for 3 days. She stayed on it until she was 18months, so about 10months she was on it. I put her back on it when she was around 2 for a month or so.
I think pinpointing why they are spitting up will do more good than meds to bandage the problem.

Your sig says your child has celiacs? How is the elimination diet going?

There are a few common childhood allergies that could also show up in the very young, milk for instance, is pretty common.

I would look into other possible allergies if the celiacs diet is going well. It wouldn't be unheard of for a child already to be suffering from one allergy to have another.

I wouldn't do zantac.

I have a dairy allergy and meds don't actually help my symptoms all that much (my Dr wanted me to try and add milk products back into my diet) and I puked and felt awful. I have tried many different things and currently take two different anti-histimines (hydroxyzine and allegra) and meds to help build the linings of my digestive system and singulair, which is used for allergies/asthma among other things

Milk still makes me ill, and I take LOADS of meds.

I would look into another elimination diet and see how it goes.

I am so sorry your sweet baby is suffering.
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The thing that bothered me was that it states on the product info sheet that taking Zantac (and other similar meds) will increase your chaces of food poisioning as it lowers the stomach acid which kills bacteria. I'd rather have heartburn than food poisoning, lol.

I see your point, but how would this affect an EBF infant?
All my kids have been on Zantac and Keegan still is. They were in pain and I felt it was best to give it to them. If I had a baby that was not gaining weight because of it, I wouldn't even be questioning it.
My unmedicated son eventually started spitting up blood (he was 4 to 5 months at that point). He still has feeding aversions due to the pain. He never regained the growth percentiles he lost fully. When you are talking about a child who is not gaining weight due to reflux you are talking about a child who deserves not to be in pain. This can have real developmental impacts as well as a child in pain can develop sensory and developmental delays. Also, if the child is spitting up entire feeds (projectile) you do need to rule out pyloric stenosis so do the GI part. In most cases the lack of weight gain is not due to the quantity spit up but pain when swallowing or pain associated with the stuff coming up when too full so the child reduces intake even without you knowing.
Pros: well, the baby needs treatment at this point; a lot of times at this age the problem is truly structural (not like an adult where it is often low stomach acid). Sometimes acid reducers are needed. Avoiding treatment or using inadequate treatment can result in failure to thrive, swallowing aversions, developmental delays, and sensory problems. Some of these carry on even after the child is eventually treated if they are let go too long...and 4-5-6 months can be too long.
Cons to acid reduction in general: greater risk of bad gut bugs and food poisoning, increased risk of food allergies, impaired absorption of some nutrients (namely iron and b12) (stay with me on this...these are not reasons not to do it when needed but they are risks to be aware of)
pros to zantac specifically: may help some kids temporarily at least; much less likely to cause the above problems (the absorption, bad bugs, food poisoning)...but that is because it doesn't do a good job in terms of reducing acid; big pro: it (and other drugs in it's class which I would use instead if I were using something like this) starts working immediately whereas others take a while.
cons to zantac (and other meds like it) specifically: when the need is severe (which it should be to use any of them) it is unlikely to help enough or help long; body builds a tolerance quickly so even if it does work it loses effectiveness over time; zantac specifically has alcohol which makes no sense anyway as alcohol brings on reflux and it also burns if the esophagus has damage which it very well may in this case (axid I think it is called but it is a liquid h2 blocker without alcohol is a better choice as far as that is concerned-avoid zantac)
My comments on the cons: you can get around a lot of this or at least mitigate the effects; not medicating can have much greater effects (trust me) and some kids (I'd say many) it is structural so all the interventions in the world that might work for adults won't help in a young infant. (I've used them all over the last three years).
My suggestion: Don't leave a baby in pain. I don't think anyone who would suggest that has seen what this looks like or is thinking about it in terms of what the baby is experiencing never mind the very real risks (failure to thrive in this case). You can spend a lot of time trying things that don't help...time when the child is supposed to be gaining weight and making developmental leaps which they may not be doing in pain...time you can't get back. You may want to start with an H2 blocker for immediate relief (avoid zantac which is an h2 blocker due to alcohol content) but if it doesn't help enough or doesn't continue to help you are likely going to need a PPI (protein pump inhibitor--like zegerid is a great one; prilosec or prevacid less expensive options). To counteract the bad side effects use a digestive enzyme (houston's...or lacto by enzymedica; the houston's dr. will talk directly with you about infant use). Digestive enzymes will aid in digestion to help with the stomach acid issues and certainly help with increased allergy risks. Use probiotics (they make allergy free infant ones) to help counteract gut effects and allergies; I wouldn't though be overly concerned about food poisoning at such a young age given taking adequate precautions in handling of food as you would for any small child). Have ferritin levels tested (not just a finger prick iron hemoglobin level). If ferritin is low as the child is older (if the meds continue; may well not) use sodium ascorbate (vitamin C) with iron rich foods and consider supplementing with b12 once the child is weaned from breastmilk or formula. Realize that these meds are not going to completely eliminate stomach acid in a young baby so some of the side effects in adults are not as likely in a young child--food allergies being the exception to that hence the enzyme suggestion which can be taken by a breastfeeding mother. My take is that the people who are most likely to have side effects like bacteria infections (older people) are probably on reflux meds even though their reflux is actually caused by low stomach acid. So they are suppressing what isn't there anyway. My non refluxing, didn't need reflux medication kiddo is my allergy guy--food, then environmental and food allergies; my on PPI meds at high doses most of his life (4ish months until recently at almost 40 months) guy iisn't. He has also never had food poisoning (neither has) and hasn't any more stomach bugs than his brother. So these side effects are theoretical increased risks not at all guarantees. Still these are things to be aware of and use in making the choice. In my opinion not reasons to keep a child in pain (not that anyone here is suggesting that).
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My biggest concern is what is happening to teeth at such a young formative age. Good dental health is so important.

Electra, I feel like I know you tool well and I know that you are very educated on this topic...

I never found the necessity of a gold standard dx. Enterolab was enough.

Originally Posted by Chanley View Post

Electra, I feel like I know you tool well and I know that you are very educated on this topic...

Really??? Over at BT?

I'm not thinking Zantac is the right choice right now. A few know the reasons why and I'll leave it at that. I don't need to rehash this whole thing all over the WWW KWIM...

I need to make a trip to the HFS. I tried to find Doli Child Tummy when ds3 was a few weeks old. It's no longer in production. I need to find an alternative b/c that stuff was truly great for my ds2.
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Originally Posted by Electra375 View Post
I'm not thinking Zantac is the right choice right now. A few know the reasons why and I'll leave it at that. I don't need to rehash this whole thing all over the WWW KWIM...
I'm really confused by this? Why did you ask if you already had made up your mind/had reasons why and didn't really want to talk about it? I spent a lot of time replying and I didn't assume you already had researched it and didn't need/want the information.
Oh well, no need to hash it out. I respect that mommy's intuition is almost always right and that is all you need.
I do have some suggestions if you are going to try this the natural route. (if you're interested).
Elevate the head of your bed (if cosleeping) or any sleeping surface 6 inches. This will help keep that acid down during sleeping (acid can damage teeth and the esophagus) so that time down is good. Use probiotics and enzymes if you are comfortable with those--they can help with reflux. Consider cranial sacral therapy and see if you can find someone to teach you pressure points and massage to help with reflux (there are points that will close that muscle--hard to explain on the internet). Small frequent feeds are much better. Eliminate allergenic foods from your diet if possible and take digestive enzymes yourself. And again I respect your thoughts but if this is looking like pyloric stenosis please have the babe checked. Frequent weight checks as weight loss/lack of gain at this age does have developmental repurcussions. I hope some of this works and/or you can find the stuff that worked before!
Some babies also start to improve at 6 to 9 months and for them reflux often peaks at 4 so I hope that is true here.
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Originally Posted by fishface View Post
I see your point, but how would this affect an EBF infant?
I was thinking if the mama got food poisoning or bacteria and it was passed on through the breastmilk.
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