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Parents Drug Infants For Spitting Up

November 8, 2011 by  

Parents Drug Infants For Spitting Up

Parents are increasingly likely to put their newborn children on drugs that keep them from spitting up when they cry.

According to NPR, research indicates that between 2002 and 2009, parents of infants became 16 times more likely to ask their pediatrician for drugs, like the acid-reflux drug Prevacid®, to keep their babies from spitting up as often.

According to the article, the drugs have not been approved for infant use, but doctors are increasingly providing prescriptions off-label for them.

“The great majority of infants spit up and cry,” pediatrician Eric Hassall told NPR. “But very, very few of them actually have reflux disease and deserve medication.”

The consensus among medical professionals is that fussy babies who spit up often can be treated in the same ways that they have for hundreds of years: by changing the child’s diet.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it has limited data about the long-term effects of medicating infants with these drugs, though some reports show increased intestinal problems and risk of pneumonia.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • s c

    This topic should be on 60 Minutes – NOT NPR. If we can all agree that not everyone should get married and have kids, then we should also agree that turning to an MD for a quick fix is wrong. To chase a quick ‘fix’ for a baby is CRAZY.
    MDs should know better. More and more, parents just don’t seem to have what it takes to raise kids. Maybe it’s because there are fewer grandparents around, and there isn’t much of a sense of continuity between generations.
    Whatever it is, it can be argued that what passes for parenting [and what borders on medical abuse from MDs] is no less than CHILD ABUSE. America, get your head(s) out of your collective rumps. If you think an MD can raise your child better than you, then do the obvious and let that quack ADOPT your child.

    • 45caliber

      The recent conviction of Michael Jackson’s doctor is a good example of what the present doctors are like. If you mention a problem, they have a drug to fix it. If you ask for a drug, you will get a prescription for it – even if you don’t need it. Jackson killed himself by taking too many drugs – but his doctor willingly gave them to him without question when asked.

      • ValDM

        What you say about doctors is completely true. It used to be commonly known that the sphincter at the end of the esophagus didn’t grow & gain strength until the child was around 10-12 months old; thus you have spitting up. What’s wrong with these doctors that refuse to tell parents the truth??? Furthermore, what’s wrong with doctors that have become little more than drug-pushers???

        • metalflyer11

          The MDs are educated agents of BIG PHARMA. All they learn in Medical School is how to remove body parts and prescribe drugs. Not to demonize doctors but this is the sad truth. I bow down to those doctors that have awaken to the truth of Big Pharma and truely reaserch for healing & in many cases challenge Big Pharma.

          BTW acid reflux is NOT a desease. Big Pharma takes any oportunity to name anything a desease and sell you the remedy. The reason for most acid reflux is the amount of processed foods we eat. Everything is pasteurized, irradiated, has GMO, etc. ALL dead food with no digestive enzimes.

  • home boy

    stop looking for the quick fix. adults don’t eat what they don’t like but babies have no say. where’s dr spock when we need him?

    • 45caliber

      You should check out Dr. Spock a little closer. He didn’t have a child of his own to raise until he was about 60. After he did, he stated that a lot of what he had recommended over the years was wrong.

  • Annie

    Then these same parents just don’t understand that by the time their baby becomes 13 years old, that child that use to be a beautiful baby has become a DRUG ADDICT.

    What is the matter with parents today. Give me a break. My husband and I have 4 beautiful grown adult children and the ONLY drug my children ever received was an aspirin. And ONLY under those certain circumstances, I allowed my children to have an antibiotic prescribed. But ONLY if it was absolutely necessary.

    • 45caliber


      My daughter’s second grade teacher tried to prescribe Retlin for her. (She told my wife to go get a prescription from the doctor for it.) I refused to allow it. Later my wife found out that she had 19 of her 21 students on it. She liked them to sit there like little zombies all day.

      • http://Yahoo Ann

        You are so right. I used to work for a school and it was horrible to listen to so many of my co-workers say that they have students who should be on ANY drug to quiet them down. These people should not be teaching or have children of their own. All they want is for the kids to be like zombies, just like you stated.

  • lillian

    The problem is not so much the parents but in our society as a whole. We have been duped by the Drug Companies to believe there is always a quick fix. I am a pharmacist and see it first hand. A customer walks in, picks up his Lipitor and then says, “Now I can go get some hot dogs for lunch.” Same thing goes with the diabetic. “A few extra units of insulin and I can have that second piece of cake.” It is not so much the lack of parenting skills, instead the mentality that has been created. More drugs dispensed, more profit for big pharma. I once recommended good ol fashioned chicken soup and rest for someone with a cold (whose symptoms were mild). The customer behind him said in disbelief, “Wow, I never thought I’d see the day. A pharmacist who does not recommend drugs.” As far as drugs go, Less IS More. Education is key.

    • 45caliber

      You are quite correct. If I took all the drugs my doctor recommended, I’d be taking a dozen a day (like my wife does). I only take ones that I KNOW have a positive affect on my health and will not take anything the doctor suggests I might need to “maintain” my health. When I don’t have high blood pressure why should I take something to insure I don’t get it?

    • Lisa

      But isn’t that the plan? Get everyone from as small as possible on drugs for the rest of their lives to ensure a constant stream of income for Big Pharma?

  • mvjim

    I think that, first, someone needs to define “spitting up.” I have never seen a toddler spit up solid food. Infants spit up mother’s milk or formula. And this “spitting up” is part of the burping process. Are we drugging infants because they are so hungry they are swallowing as much air as they are formula, and hence are spitting up! Maybe parents need a license before they can have children. Shouldn’t this be a requirement in the marriage license?

    • 45caliber

      Don’t even suggest that! Clinton’s original “Goals 2000″ educational program included this. All parents were to teach their children only the way the government dictated and only the information the government wanted the child to know. And if the parents didn’t meet all government’s expectations of raising a child, the child would be taken away due to “child abuse”.

  • 45caliber

    Too many people are beginning to believe that drugs are the solution to any of life’s problems.

  • Robert Magness

    First, have any of you had a sick child that was spitting up more than 80% of its food (breast milk); a child that cried more than it slept; a child that could only be comfortable when held in an upright position; a child that was losing valuable nutrition because it kept spitting up? If so and you’re any these commenters, please elaborate the experience. If not, let’s talk:

    I can tell you why doctors prescribe Prevacid to more children: because they’re more knowledgable than ever before. Research has shown that many children–for whatever genetic or genetic reason–don’t develop their stomach sphincters as well as others. When this happens, the acid of their stomach will flow up into their throats causing indigestion and heart burn.

    In 2005, my wife and went through this with our first born for the first 6 months of her life. Mind you, my wife breast fed her and kept a healthy, balanced diet. We tried everything. First, we tried adjusting her eating habits and her positions. She still couldn’t sleep and continued spitting up. Then my wife and I researched every known food to possibly cause acid build up in the stomach and eliminated them from her diet. No change. Then we started massaging our daughter’s stomach to aid digestion. No change.

    Finally, after several doctor appointments and several doctors (including the Children’s Hospital in San Diego), we met with a pediatrician with a specialty in gastro-entorology. She diagnosed her with acid reflux and with an underdeveloped stomach sphincter. While the sphincter wasn’t abnormal, it was just underdeveloped. She said this is very common in children. In fact, so common that she’s working on getting this re-diagnosed from typical colic to acid reflux. In all the cases of colic with children she has found an underdeveloped stomach sphincter. Now, this sphincter will develop over the first 6-8 months and this issue will go away.

    Now, those who would argue that colic is colic and why redefine it…please leave the argument. That’s akin to not changing the diagnosing patterns of brain damage to autism or dementia to alzheimers. It’s a field that has shown more information and proof that past diagnoses have been innacurate. It goes against every commenter’s basic argument that a parent should know more: doctor’s know more than ever on this subject because specialists have started researching more and technology as started discovering more. Also, past prejudices have been moved aside in the interest of discovering the true root of the problem.

    In our daughter’s case, we then changed her diet from breast milk to soy formula. We saw a small change, but nothing to change things enough to provide her with enough nutrition and cease her spitting up. Finally, we allowed the specialist to prescribe Prevacid. Within two days of her medication, our daughter was sleeping again and putting on weight, getting to her healthy size.

    My problem with this article is its lack of research and reference of fact. It only mentions that doctors prescribe Prevacid more. They do. But it fails to relate the context and factual discoveries of pediatric gastroenterology. All I see here is a small fact that several sycophants have latched onto for the case of proving themselves better at the sake of other parents whose stories you have no idea of. And yes, you are syncohpants. Not a single one of you asked the question “what is the context?” or “Why specifically was this prescribed.” Instead, I see everyone of you on a high horse insulting and pre-judging parents who were doing their absolute most and best for the health of their child.

    Post script: our daughter turned 7 two days ago. She is healthy in every way and eats everything without any stomach trouble. Her pediatrician says she is the model of health. We ensure she eats a balanced diet and runs and exercises at least 30 minutes per day. She took prevacid for about 5 months. We weaned her off the medicine when she showed no need for it and haven’t used it since.

    MVJIM, I think the requirement of a marriage license should be that a parent asks questions and observes all possible solutions.

    • Richard Pawley

      Some good points but I was shocked that you gave your daugher soy milk. The Chinese tried that in the 1930′s with infants and had such a bad time with it that it’s use was abandoned. Today with 93% of all soybeans being genetically modified with unknown or increasingly negative results I do my best to avoid all soy products except naturally fermented Japanese soy sauce and nattokinase. Of course is she couldn’t keep anything else down I guess you had no choice but I would have found something, even goats milk before I would use soy milk. Don’t know if you allowed to give websites here but if you look up Dr. Joseph Mercola of Chicago, his free newsletter is subscribed to by 100,000 health professionals who want to know the truth of what’s good and what isn’t along with well over a million others all over the earth. I’ve been reading it for five years myself. Don’t be turned off by he fact that he sells about three dozen items. These are only proven things that he or his family use and he does this to raise money to maintain the supercomputer and to keep four lawyers on retainer because Big Pharama and the Agri-Business people are frequently suing him for revealing the crap they have fostered on the American public. I hope you don’t give your daughter soy milk today thinking it is helpful.

      • Robert Magness

        Both of my daughters responded better to soy formula and soy milk. They both have a milk allergy (even allergic to breast milk). I also am lactose intolerant. Since switching to soy, I have been able to eat cereal and other foods with less irritation or discomfort. So far, we are all healthy, growing well, and not experience odd or obscure maladies. We tried goats milk with no success.

        So far as the box says, the soy is organic and it’s free of chemicals. But your argument doesn’t necessarily hold much weight–though nor does mine in our supposed corrupt and chemically dependent society–since I have given them soy milk, it has been helpful, and they are extremely healthy.

  • Leeta von Buelow

    Soy suppresses thyroid function and soy formula contains “phytoestrogens, a plant form of the female hormone estrogen. Neonatal infants are particularly vulnerable to estrogens and insufficient research on the long term health effects of phytoestrogens warrants a ban on nonprescription sales.” The New Zealand Medical Journal,May 24,1995,Volume 108,No.1000,p.102 It is also devoid of cholesterol which is essential for growth and development and especially for the brain in children.Soybeans are high in phytic acid and contain potent enzyme inhibitors which are not deactivated by normal cooking. Soy milk has the same problem, as well as having carcinogens which are formed during processing. This is from the cookbook, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.
    Yes, thank the Lord, she is not showing obvious harm, but, yes please go to goat’s milk or coconut milk! I wouldn’t push the envelope with her health!

  • http://deleted Claire

    Good grief. And we wonder why kids have autism, etc. Give me a break. What in the world happened to common sense?


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