Last week there was a general recall of Zantac, a medication commonly used to treat infant reflux in babies. This follows concerns in several countries over the presence of impurities in Zantac and other ranitidine products. Health authorities say there is no immediate risk, but patients have been advised to consult a doctor who can prescribe alternatives to ranitidine.
If your baby is on Zantac, you should see your GP for an alternative medication to be prescribed as you will not be able to get Zantac from your pharmacy at the moment. Don’t leave it till you run out! Many parents have already had their baby’s medication changed and the most common alternative is Omeprazole, or Losec Mups.
Omeprazole (Losec Mups) is prescription only. It is a Protein Pump Inhibitor (PPI) and blocks the production of acid in the stomach. Dosage is based on baby’s weight and should therefore be reviewed regularly with your paediatrician or doctor. If giving Losec twice a day, the evening dose should generally be given before 5.30pm as there is very little acid produced from 9pm till 2am (resting phase) and a PPI can only turn off a pump that is turned on.
From 2am to 7am there is an acid dump where the stomach produces extra acid. If your baby is most unsettled at night, then you could give the second dose of Losec at 12.30 to 1.30am.
Losec cannot be crushed and given with food. It must be dissolved in a little cold water and given in a syringe or off a spoon. For older babies the tablet can be dissolved in a little apple sauce. It is the beads you see after dissolving the tablet that contain the active ingredient. Losec should be given on an empty stomach and within half an hour of dissolving the tablet. A Losec tablet can be split in half using a splitter which your pharmacist can supply if the dosage requires this.
As your baby grows and gains weight you can sometimes see symptoms return a little. If this happens, it is always a good idea to review the dosage with your GP.
We have had a few tips from parents who are already using Losec Mups. A few mums said the calpol syringe was the best for giving Losec Mups. They suggested dissolving the tablet/half tablet (depending on the dose) in the syringe itself. Other syringes that have long tips can make giving the last few active beads difficult. The wider tip of the calpol syringe avoids this issue.
Another parent suggested adding 1ml of apple juice to the dissolved dose to make it more palatable and therefore easier to give. A great tip for a baby who is a little older.
For anyone new to Losec Mups, we can suggest a great page to visit. Wonderbaba.ie has advice from a pharmacist on how to dissolve your tablet and calculate the correct dose. Click on the link below to view it.
For more information on Reflux and all the different types and treatment options, you can buy a copy of our book HERE