Monday, 9 September 2013

The Awfulness of Reflux in Babies - Part Three

So, at this stage in the story we were keeping J upright as much as possible and trying to get Gaviscon into him when we could. We were still exhausted and while there was a small improvement this stalled and J still had problems with spitting up, arching in pain and generally having very disturbed sleep.

I had talked to a few people who knew babies with reflux and read pretty much everything the internet had to say on the matter and it seemed that a lot of babies were prescribed proton pump inhibitors. These are drugs that inhibit the production of acid in the stomach and ease discomfort. Our GP had said at our visit that he was not comfortable prescribing these unless a paediatrician had checked him out.

Luckily, due to the previous issue J had with twitching in his sleep we had his 6 week check in Holles Street instead of with our GP. I expected the paediatrician to be quite dismissive as J was thriving in the sense that he was putting on weight and was developing normally and seemed well. The paediatrician was actually lovely about the whole thing and understood that we couldn't continue going the way we were. He prescribed 10mg a day of Losec. The sense of relief I was feeling when I went to fill that prescription was unreal. I was so hopeful that an end was in sight. I informed our GP that the paediatrician had prescribed this and he said he would do a check on Josh in a week or so to see how it was working.

The problem now was getting the Losec into him.The Losec we used was the MUPS (multi unit pellet system). The pharmacist recommended dissolving the tablet in a syringe and putting it in his mouth.The tablet dissolves quite well in water and turns in to a liquidy paste with granules in it fairly easily. The syringe didn't work as a lot of the granules got stuck in the tip. Mr HNW had the great idea of grinding the tablet finely in the mortar and pestle I use for grinding herbs. DO NOT DO THIS!!! I cannot stress that enough. The tablet consists of pellets with an enteric coating that protects the active ingredient from being destroyed by the stomach acid. I had a very bad night with Josh and couldn't figure out why the Losec was not working. Luckily, I re read the instruction leaflet during the night and realised what we had done.

The next thing we tried was placing the tablet on a plastic weaning spoon and dropping boiled water that had been allowed to cool on to the tablet using a syringe. This worked a treat, the tablet dissolves into a watery paste and it's easy enough to get it into J. There's usually a little bit of spillage but we're getting better at it every day.

After a week or so of being on the Losec, I had noticed an improvement but it was obvious that the positive effects wore off during the day, as he was being given the tablet in the evenings before going to bed.. I rang our (very lovely) GP to discuss it with him and he recommended giving him a second dose in the mornings. Since we have started doing this there has been a huge improvement. He is on a relatively high dose for his weight but it is under the supervision of our doctor and we're just grateful that it seems to be working.

While the reflux is still there and causes problems it is much more under control and we are all feeling much more human. J even sleeps more during the day now that he is more comfortable. He is now about 12 weeks old and we're starting to get into a routine, especially with giving him the doses of losec morning and evening. I think things are easier partly because he is getting older and partly because the reflux is much more under control.

If you are in a similar situation, I just want to say please don't despair, things will get better and there really are things you can do, which I'll detail in my next post.

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If anyone is out there I would love to hear any thoughts you have after reading this blog!