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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Alternative medicine for reflux in my daughter?


 momathome268 - Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:01 pm

Hi - I was wondering if my 7-year-old daughter could take an alternative (over the counter or natural) to the medicine that she is already taking which is: Prevacid and Metoclopramide (Reglan). She is a female, no surgery, diagnosed with GERD/reflux.

Thank you.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:35 pm

User avatar Hi Momathome268,

For children with reflux, a proton pump inhibitor (such as prevacid) and a motility agent (such as metoclopramide) are really at the top of the medication spectrum for this disease.

There are some alternative medicine treatments such as various herbs; however, I must advise caution when using these alternative medicines. There are a few reasons. First, there is no regulatory standard for these medicines so even though it says "100%" of some drug is in the pill it may actually not be the case. There have been several instances where harmful substances (such as lead) have been found in high amounts in some of these supplements.

Also, there are very few, if any, studies on these compounds in children. So, even though they report some benefit in adults it may not be effective or have the same effect in children.

Lastly, there may be interactions with these supplements and her current medications that are not known. This area has also not been well studied.

In upcoming years, it is likely that more will be known about these supplements and they may be safer to use but at this point I generally advise against them in children.

Best wishes.

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