Information for the public
Medicines to reduce acid production
There are 2 types of medicines that reduce acid production in the stomach. They are called H2 receptor blockers (they are often called H2RAs) and proton pump inhibitors (often called PPIs).
If babies or children regurgitate feeds or meals but do not have any other problems or symptoms (such as pain, crying and not wanting to feed), healthcare professionals should not offer medicines to reduce acid production.
However, if there are other problems or symptoms, the healthcare professional may sometimes discuss trying one of the medicines for 4 weeks to see if it helps the symptoms. They will take into account which would be the best type and formulation for the child's age, your preference and/or your child's preference, and also the cost of the medicine.
When the treatment stops after 4 weeks, if the symptoms have not gone, or if they come back when the treatment stops, then the healthcare professional may discuss referring the child to a specialist.
Sometimes reflux can cause severe irritation and inflammation of the oesophagus (the medical name for this is oesophagitis). The only way to diagnose oesophagitis with any certainty is to have an endoscopy. If your child has oesophagitis, a doctor should offer a course of treatment with a PPI or H2RA to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. Your child may need to have an endoscopy again after the treatment.
Healthcare professionals should not offer the medicines called metoclopramide or domperidone to treat reflux without speaking to a specialist and taking into account that these medicines can cause serious unwanted side effects.