Media Alert

Beth Anderson/phone 301-213-9533 / e-mail gergroup@aol.com
Bryan Vartabedian, MD FAAP/ phone 832-647-4004/e-mail colic2@mac.com

Are Pediatricians Over-Treating Reflux in Babies?

According to statistics recently released1 by Medco, a leading pharmacy benefit manager, prescriptions for reflux medications in children rose 137% over the past seven years. Yet according to a study recently published in the journal Pediatrics, many infants treated for reflux may have been medicated unnecessarily.
But acid reflux in babies is a real problem. In fact, some studies 2 have suggested that over half of babies with inconsolable crying may be suffering with treatable conditions like acid reflux. So what’s going on and what’s a parent to think?

This new data raises some questions
• Is reflux in babies more common than it used to be?
• Are we simply recognizing a problem that’s always been there?
• Are pediatricians over-treating reflux in babies?

More and more parents are asking about reflux and doctors are taking it more seriously. The Wall Street Journal captured the controversy on July 22, 2008 3 with “Baby Crying? Doctors Say It May Be Acid-Reflux Disease.” And the growing trend of reflux treatment in children made the front page of the New York Times on July 26, 2008. While the issue is far from settled, parents need to be informed so that they can advocate for their children. This would make an informative segment or article given the timely nature of the information and the questions that parents are asking.

We can offer your audience
• Seven signs of acid reflux in a baby
• Tips on how to get a screaming baby taken seriously by the pediatrician
• New information on why “colic” is a dated term
• Key questions to ask before giving prescription reflux medications to a baby

As a pediatric gastroenterologist at Texas Children’s Hospital, America’s largest children’s hospital and author of Colic Solved – The Essential Guide to Infant Reflux and the Care of Your Crying, Difficult-to-Soothe Baby (2007 Random House/Ballantine), Dr. Bryan Vartabedian can help your audience understand what they need to know to identify reflux in their baby. He made numerous television appearances during a national book release tour with Babies R Us and most recently has served as national media spokesperson for companies such as Playtex and Biogaia. Perhaps most importantly he brings the unique perspective of a father who raised two children with acid reflux. He blogs at parentingsolved.typepad.com and information on his book is available at colicsolved.com

Beth Pulsifer-Anderson is one of America’s leading advocates for children suffering with acid reflux disease. She is the founder of PAGER (Pediatric Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux) Association, a non-profit organization, and manages reflux.org, with over 2.3 million hits per month. PAGER created National Tummy Ache Awareness Day™ November 1. Beth is the author of The Reflux Book, A Parent’s Guide to Gastroesophageal Reflux. (2007) She is frequently quoted in the national media on patient issues related to reflux disease in children. She blogs on reflux.org, healthcentral.com and refluxbook.com.

Beth Anderson and Dr. Vartabedian are quoted in the Wall Street Journal article cited above.

1 “Weight Drives the Young to Adult Pills, Data Says,” New York Times, Stephanie Saul, July 26, 2008
2 Are We Overprescribing AntiReflux Medications for Infants With Regurgitation, Pediatrics, 2007 Nov; 120(5): 946-9
3 “Baby Crying? Doctors Say It May Be Acid-Reflux Disease,” The Wall Street Journal, Melinda Beck, July 22, 2008

Check with your
doctor first!