After looking at 575,000 prescriptions, it seems acid is the hot thing in kids. Between 2002-2006 the numbers of acid suppressant prescriptions in children between the ages of 0-4 years rose by a 56%. It’s estimated that 3% of all children in this age group received some form of acid suppression last year. Amazing numbers, really.
Why is this? Is acid reflux on the rise in kids? Is there some type of prescription abuse in play? Is obesity the explanation as suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrician president-elect Renee Jenkins? The answer isn’t perfectly clear although as a man on the street I suspect that there’s greater recognition of acid related disorders in kids. The incontrovertible role of reflux in asthma, feeding problems and even dental disease is generally accepted by pediatricians. Many are even beginning to recognize that colic, the scourge of infancy, may represent overlooked reflux disease or milk protein allergy. It’s important to note that these numbers may be influenced by the fact that Prevacid received FDA approval for children down to age 1 year during the time period cited by Medco.
Once considered a non-entity in children, it seems that acid reflux, for whatever reason, is finally seeing the light of day.