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Treating infants with gastroesophageal reflux.

The Question: Is magnesium alginate plus simethicone an effective treatment of gastroesophageal reflux (GER) in infants?

The Study: Gastroesophageal reflux, when some of the stomach contents go into the esophagus, is a relatively common ailment in infants. There are numerous treatments for this problem, including thickening the formula, treatment with medicines, and reassurance the GER will pass with time.

An Italian study compared three treatments of infantile GER: an antacid (magnesium alginate plus simethicone), rice starch-thickened formula, and reassurance with lifestyle changes. The symptoms were evaluated after one and two months of treatment. Sixty-four of the original 75 infants completed the study. The infants ranged in age from one to ten months.

The Results: After one month of treatment a significant improvement was seen in the infants treated with the antacid compared to the other two treatments. At two months of treatment all three groups show a significant improvement, although the antacid group showed the most improvement.

Comment: GER is a problem that affects many infants. If the workup doesn't show any significant abnormalities, then symptomatic treat is the next step. This study demonstrates the benefits of an antacid. Unfortunately it did include other medications used to treat GER.

Read More: Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 02/15

Richard J. Sagall, MD, Editor

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Title Annotation:In the Literature
Author:Sagall, Richard J.
Publication:Pediatrics for Parents
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Mar 1, 2014
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