woensdag 8 augustus 2012
Huilende baby's krijgen soms maagzuurremmers toegediend!!!
Last week, I told you how the mainstream finally appears to be catching on to the dangers of heartburn drugs – proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) – which rack up an estimated 43 million prescriptions a year, in the UK alone...Now it looks like I may have to swallow my words... because this 'adult drug' that can leaveyou with a long list of health problems, including heart disease, is now being prescribed to infants.
That's right, if your baby cries for hours and the constant stream of dribble and spitting up that comes with the territory becomes too much, your paediatrician may attempt to "solve" the problem with PPIs.
Just a bit of spit
Our regular readers will know that we've reported on the use of PPIs in infants before. However, it's worth mentioning again… especially since the latest research has found that the side effects of these drugs can include infections, cancer, heart disease and a dangerous deficiency of some vital minerals and vitamins that can lead to bone fractures, muscle spasms (tetany), irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias), and convulsions (seizures).
No one in his or her right mind would want to inflict any of these side effects on a developing baby, right?
So, the question is: How did we get to this point?
According to a leading paediatric gastroenterologist from San Francisco, Dr. Eric Hassall, when unexplained crying leads to spitting up, doctors are quick to jump to an acid reflux diagnosis... and yet there is no research to support the use of such powerful drugs in infants.
I mean let's be honest, what's really happening here is that infants are being medicated for something that is perfectly normal. Any parent will tell you that it's normal for babies to start crying when they have a bit of wind... and as we all know, once you wind them there's almost always a bit of... how shall I put it... spillage? It's certainly NOT acid reflux, just a bit of spit!
So much for "science-based" drug use!
And guess what, Dr. Hassal and me, are not the only ones frowning upon this misguided practice... A Queensland doctor, in Australia, who has been crusading against the overuse of PPIs for crying infants, has recently warned that this treatment is unwarranted and potentially harmful.
Dr Pamela Douglas, who led a recent British Medical Journal (BMJ) review on excessive crying in newborns, said expert consensus held that gastro-oesophophageal reflux was not to blame.
Nor was there any evidence that PPIs were better than placebo in reducing crying, despite being commonly prescribed for this indication. She added that the unnecessary use of PPIs could increase the risk of lower respiratory tract infection, and possibly food allergies. She said: "We really shouldn't be using PPIs in these babies. I think there's an element of hoping that there might be a quick fix."
I couldn't have put it better, Dr. Douglas.
The message for today is short and to the point: If you know anyone with a brand new baby, share this alert with them. They'll have a much better chance of calming a crying baby with swaddling combined with a vacuum cleaner's white noise than with any stomach acid drug. Now it looks like I may have to swallow my words... because this 'adult drug' that can leaveyou with a long list of health problems, including heart disease, is now being prescribed to infants.That's right, if your baby cries for hours and the constant stream of dribble and spitting up that comes with the territory becomes too much, your paediatrician may attempt to "solve" the problem with PPIs.