Infant Gaviscon contains two active ingredients, sodium alginate and magnesium alginate. These are naturally occuring substances that are found in a particular type of seaweed. Alginates act locally in the stomach to physically prevent the contents of the stomach from flowing back into the food pipe (reflux) and being regurgitated.
Infant Gaviscon may be recommended by a doctor or pharmacist, if the baby is not gaining weight properly or has complications with the reflux. It may also be recommended if the child has a hiatus hernia that is causing the reflux. Infant Gaviscon should only be given on the advice of a medical professional.
The active ingredients of infant Gaviscon are not absorbed into the bloodstream. Instead they work by reacting with the stomach contents to form a gel. This gel thickens the stomach contents, making it more difficult for them to be refluxed back into the food pipe and be regurgitated.
What is it used for?
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux in infants
- Preventing regurgitation of the stomach contents in infants.
Gaviscon Infant oral powder is supplied in dual sachets.
Dosage is as follows: Give two doses (one dual-sachet) either after a meal or breastfeed, or mixed with a bottle feed, up to a maximum of 6 times in 24 hours. To give after a meal or a breastfeed: each dual sachet should be mixed with 5ml of freshly boiled and cooled water and mixed to a paste. Then add another 10ml of boiled and cooled water and mix well. Give this mixture after each meal using a spoon or a bottle. To mix with a bottle feed: each dual sachet should be added to 225ml or more of feed in the bottle and shaken well before giving.
- Infant Gaviscon should only be used on the recommendation of a doctor or other health professional.
- Follow the dosage instructions supplied with the medicine carefully. Do not give more than six times in 24 hours. The medicine contains sodium and excessive use could raise the amount of sodium in the child’s blood.
- The child should be reviewed by a doctor after seven days of treatment with this medicine, or earlier if the child’s condition worsens.
- Infant Gaviscon is not appropriate for use in adults or elderly
Precautions; not to be used in:
- Premature infants and infants under 1 year of age, unless on the advice of a doctor
- Blockage of the gut (intestinal obstruction)
- Inflammation of the stomach and intestine (gastroenteritis)
- Decreased kidney function
- Situations where excessive water loss is likely, eg fever, diarrhoea, vomiting or high room temperature
Infant Gaviscon should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
How can this medicine affect other medicines?
This medicine should not be used with thickening agents or infant milk preparations containing a thickening agent, as this could lead to over-thickening of the stomach contents.
babyREFLUX quick tips on adding thickeners to the formula feed.
The thickener doesn’t tend to dissolve as well if you add it to a pre-made up bottle. We tried many different ways to add it and the most success, in terms of eliminating lumps was by adding it into the feed at the time of making with hot ‘from the boil’ water. Obviously if you make up your bottle fresh each time, this will be usual for you, but most parents will make up a batch of feeds, store them in the fridge and then heat them through just prior to feeding.
Also if you want to stir in the thickener powder, try sterilising the spoon that comes in your formula milk powder (they tend to hold up well at extreme temps!) … then just use that to stir once you’ve used it to scoop!
Feeding little and often with Infant Gaviscon mixed in? or Baby taking less than 4oz on each feed?
For a baby under 10lb, the directions on the pack state you must give one sachet per every 4oz. This is hard to do if the 4oz bottle is never finished or you want to feed little and often. What we did was make up a 4oz bottle, mix it up and then split the feeds down to 2 x 2oz, keeping one and giving the other. Repeat until you use up the doses within the waking hours, if you can.
It is a hassle with extra bottles but at least you can feed the correct dosage and ensure that whatever goes into baby is correctly medicated for the amount they are taking at that time.
Like many things to do with babies, it’s a case of finding what suits you and baby in a safe and controlled environment. It is most important that instructions & dosages of medicines prescribed or over the counter, are not altered in any way. If you are at all in doubt, please speak to your Health Visitor or GP.