Heartburn medications: If a baby with HPE has gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a doctor may prescribe infant doses of medications commonly used to treat heartburn in adults. Commonly prescribed medications include H-2 blockers, such as cimetidine (Tagamet®) or ranitidine (Zantac®), or proton pump inhibitors, such as esomeprazole (Nexium®) or omeprazole (Prilosec®). Although these drugs are considered safe for use in infants and children with GERD, a 2006 study suggests that they may increase the risk of intestinal and respiratory infections in otherwise healthy children.
Esophageal surgery: In some cases, the muscles in the esophagus that prevent food in the stomach from being regurgitated may need to be surgically tightened. This is typically only performed if GERD interferes with breathing or prevents growth in the baby. Complications of this surgery are serious and may include persistent gagging during feedings.
Anticonvulsants: Medications, called anticonvulsants, may be used to treat epilepsy (a condition that causes seizures) in children with HPE. These drugs are typically taken once daily to help prevent seizures from occurring. Phenobarbital (Luminal® Sodium) is one of the oldest and safest anticonvulsants for children. Valproic acid (Depakene® or Depakote®) has also been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for seizures in children.
Botulinum toxin (Botox®): Children with HPE who experience increased muscle tone that results in a tightening and shortening of muscles (called spasticity) may benefit from botulinum toxin (Botox®) injections. This drug is injected directly into spastic muscles in order to stop muscles from twitching. The effects of Botox® last several months. Some patients may have a severe allergic reaction to Botox. All over body swelling, difficulty swallowing and/or difficulty breathing are the most likely symptoms that an allergic reaction is occurring. Patients who experience any or all of these symptoms after a Botox® injection should have a person nearby call 911 immediately. Patients should not wait to see if the symptoms resolve or try to take themselves to the hospital.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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