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More Insanity -- Heartburn Drugs for Kids

A recent report indicates that long-term use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), used to stop stomach acid from refluxing into the esophagus, may be safe and effective in children. PPIs include drugs such as Prilosec (omeprazole) and Prevacid (lansoprazole).

The study examined 166 pediatric patients with reflux disease who used PPIs for up to 11 years. Most patients used omeprazole, but a few used lansoprazole. Doses ranged from 4 mg to 90 mg each day.

PPIs can cause increased rate of some infections, B12 deficiency, and iron and calcium malabsorption.

Journal of Pediatrics, Vol. 150, No. 3, March 2007: 262-267

Yahoo News March 26, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

Drugs designed to treat ulcer conditions are nearly the "perfect" drug for the drug companies. They are highly effective at treating symptoms but do absolutely nothing to treat the cause of the problem.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid and the older H2 blockers like Tagamet, Zantec and Pepcid only drain your pocketbook at the expense of your health.

The PPIs are even better than the H2 blockers because they actually get you "addicted" to them. If you go off of the PPIs after being on them for awhile your symptoms will actually be WORSE than before you started them. That is one of the reasons why I never have patients go "cold turkey" off the PPIs, but gradually wean them off with the H2 blockers, which do not cause as much of this acid rebound effect.

Surgery for ulcers is another option you will want to avoid. Going under the knife is not an effective way to treat your heartburn.

Please understand that none of these drugs do absolutely anything to treat the cause of the problem -- and they can be dangerous. Heartburn medications such as Prilosec and Nexium can impair your digestion by significantly reducing the amount of acid in your stomach -- this impairs your ability to properly digest food.

Reduction of acid in the stomach also diminishes your primary defense mechanism for food-borne infections, thereby increasing your risk of food poisoning.

Additionally, if you fail to digest and absorb your food properly, you will not only increase your risk of stomach atrophy but also nearly every other chronic degenerative disease. There's also a phenomenon associated with these drugs called acid rebound. Because they slam the brakes on the acid-producing pumps in your stomach, when you stop taking them that built-up acid can be unleashed.

Remember, ulcer problems are one of the EASIEST health challenges to treat without drugs. Your best solution for your child's health as well as your own is to stay as far away from these unnecessary drugs and procedures by treating the main problem.

A few suggestions to get you started:

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