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#1 lyni

Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:31 PM

Hopefully I have put this in the right place...

I took my 4 wk old DD to the Drs today to get a script for Zantac, she has silent reflux and has been really unsettled due to the pain etc. I tried mylanta first but felt she needed a bit more help. I have two boys - a 13yo and 22mth old, they both had reflux and were both treated with zantac.

The Dr was VERY reluctant to give me the script and although he gave it to me he actually asked that I not use it. He said that recent studies have shown that ASD may be caused by bacteria (or lack of I think) in the gut - and that drugs such as Zantac and Losec may be the cause. ohmy.gif

When I told him I had used it with my other 2 kids he said that "we thought Thylidamide was safe once..". When I asked what I should do with DD he said "carry her until you go crazy"! I felt compelled to point out that since we had not slept for more than 3 hours at a time for the last 4 weeks - that point is fast approaching! I know there are varying views from Drs as to whether reflux is actually real, normally I would have complete confidence in my GP's opinion. This however has left me scratching my head.

I was wondering whether you wonderful ladies here on EB had heard of this. Is it a new study or something that has been around for a while? Neither of my boys seem to show any side affects from using it - well none that I know of yet I suppose!


#2 Super Cat

Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:07 PM

No. The only thing I have heard that has any small relationship to this is that children with ASD often have more gut issues than the general population. They might account for a higher portion of Zantac/Losec users, however the problems were already there.

#3 Rosiebird

Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:15 PM

Interestingly, I have heard of it. I was talking to a professor of microbiology who has a special interest in ASD and she was talking about a putative role of gut bacteria in developing various conditions - including diabetes and ASD - and the potential of gut bacteria "transplants" of specific bacterial strains to cure disease. I haven't looked into it further so I cannot give you any articles to read but the GP may be much more up to date than I am.

#4 FuzzyMum

Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:38 PM

The doctor must have recently viewed the recent segment on the ABC which discussed theories surrounding specific types of bacteria in the gut and asd symptoms.
It's important to keep in mind that no one has proven the cause of asd at this point. I would tend to find another dr. I think he has scared you unnecessarily. Did he provide you with links to any evidence?

#5 2-beautiful-boys

Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:53 PM

I have heard it mentioned in relation to antibiotic use but not Zantac.

#6 CallMeFeral

Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:04 PM

I had heard of an ABC program relating it to gut issues (there was a thread on it here AGES ago), but hadn't heard the antibiotic angle. That's scary!
That said, until there's more known, even IF the gut issues theory is confirmed, who is to know what causes it? Everything could mess with the gut - antibiotics, normal medicines, rotavirus etc vaccines, formula, food ingredients, anything a kid puts in their mouth - there's so little chance of being able to figure out what exactly it is to avoid, and you can't avoid it all!

#7 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 19 January 2013 - 05:43 AM

We were told 5 years ago that Zantac/losec was not good for refluxy babies because they alkalise the stomach acid to the point of no longer being able to kill off germs, therefore leading to a much sicker child. We were also told that it can cause long term issues, but I don't remember if the gp was specific about them.

The paediatric gastros had no issue prescribing it though, and I was far more comfortable following the advice of the specialists than of a random GP.

#8 tribemama

Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:13 AM

I have heard similar, and alot of ASD sufferers do have gut issues and food intollerences/allergies.
Apparently gut health is alot more important than we generally think. That said, I have had a reflux baby, and one that was medicated and I tell ya, its the lesser of two evils at that point. My daughter's personality changed so much after being medicated adn she became a happy baby who was able to feed, and play, and sleep.
I guess you have to weigh up the pros and cons and decide for yourself. Also, I kinda think, good on the doctor for questioning and discussing things with you rather than blindly medicating. That is actually the doctor I would stick with and appreciate, even if I didnt always agree with him/her.

#9 Silver Girl

Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:41 AM

There was a 4 Corners program on ABC TV last year about Autism and probiotics/gut health.


I'm sure there was a thread here too at the time, I'll try to find it.

#10 Silver Girl

Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:50 AM

Here is the EB discussion about the 4 Corners program.


#11 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:36 AM

It is all highly theoretical at this point in time but the research is fascinating and they do seem to be onto something which may be useful.

FWIW my kid nearly died of salmonella, was on huge doses of abx, then contracted clostridium the week after and was on vancomycin.  He went to hospital an NT kid and came home autistic.  The change was profound and I wasn't the only person who noticed it.  However without the abx he would have died.

#12 ani1

Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:15 PM

My DD1 was on Zantac from 3 weeks old to 11 months old.
She is ASD. I did watch the 4 corners documentary , it was very interesting. I wish my dr knew and told me what he told you. I would listen.

#13 FuzzyMum

Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:03 PM

I watched the programme and it did not show causation. What it did do was show an improvement in some symptoms the individuals were showing. My concern here is that the doctor has made a conclusion based on research that is still theoretical which will have implications for this child's health.

I have personally gone down the biomedical path myself so am certainly open to a range of approaches. I have found my own DS has issues with digestion however it is impossible to separate the two.

Just a question ani1, would you then have refrained from giving your child the Zantac?

#14 ani1

Posted 20 January 2013 - 06:47 PM

Just a question ani1, would you then have refrained from giving your child the Zantac?

Yes i would have, why would you risk it, even if it was a slim chance, and unconfirmed. Nothing is worth that risk IMO .

Edited by ani1, 20 January 2013 - 06:48 PM.

#15 FuzzyMum

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:27 PM

QUOTE (ani1 @ 20/01/2013, 07:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes i would have, why would you risk it, even if it was a slim chance, and unconfirmed. Nothing is worth that risk IMO .

Really? So when Dr Wakefield's results hit the media, did you refrain from vaccinating or did you in fact continue to do so? This was once a theory as well (since been discredited of course). If my baby was in agony from reflux then of course the only thing I would want and think of is to get rid of the pain. I would not be letting the fear of something that may or may not even be a possibility get in the way of that. I don't even see how it's a risk.

Sorry but I find this attitude relating to asd upsetting. My DS has asd. While it is as much a part of him as anything else, he isn't the condition. If I could wave a wand and take it away and make him into a child who is classified as being neurotypical then I wouldn't. It's because he would no longer be the wonderful child he is. ASD has been made into the frightening nightmare that people would risk either a fatal illness or perhaps forego treatment that would ease severe pain in a very young baby just in case it led to the condition. What then is the message that this sends out to all those people with asd, or parents like myself. The message is that it's frightening and something worse than death. What I find frightening is the attitudes of society towards asd and anything that is out of the ordinary and the way people look at my DS whenever he goes out - from the looks of pity to the look of fear as parents grab their 'normal' kids away from him.

There is also the theory of vitamin D deficiencies causing autism. Vit D is esp. important in the establishment of the connections in the brain which control higher order thinking said to be most lacking in people with asd and which happens during the third trimester in pregnancy (so Vit D levels are said to be of most importance during this time). The theory looks to explain the sudden increase in the rise of asd diagnoses since the slip slop slap campaign came out. So here's another question along the same lines, if going by this theory just like the gut bacteria theory, would you then forego the use of sunscreen in yourself when you were pregnant - or with your children so that they can build up their stores of Vit D for the future (as the sunscreen contains ingredients that prevent the absorption of the UV rays that are converted into the body into Vit D) just in case it causes autism. Most likely of course you wouldn't because it's a theory, hasn't been proven and also there are other things that can happen which need to be taken into consideration.

My DS has asd, he 'isn't' asd. There is a big difference in the way it is perceived when this is written this way.

#16 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:26 PM

It's not outrageous to postulate as well that a child who is genetically predisposed to autism who goes through severe pain as a baby might be triggered for the autism to develop.

We just do not know.  I think choosing not to medicate for severe reflux with the current state of knowledge is risky.

#17 FuzzyMum

Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:40 PM

Balzac, I do agree with you. I have utilised a few therapeutic approaches that aimed at dealing with my DS's digestive issues and noticed after these an improvement in overall concentration and behaviour. I found the programme very interesting and certainly hope down the track that treatments will develop that can benefit our kids. I also don't feel that it is outrageous to theorise this.

However what really gets me as in this case is when a theory has been presented as a fact by a medical professional which has scared a new mother who may then use such advice to deny a course of treatment that could ease the pain a young child is experiencing which can in itself have health implications. All through fear of asd. That makes me very cranky.

#18 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:11 AM

It makes me cranky as well.

I can absolutely say that when my kids' bowel issues are more or less managed and the pain is less their behaviour is improved.  Any kid living with chronic pain is going to struggle with life and learning and development.

#19 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:42 AM

QUOTE (Balzac @ 21/01/2013, 01:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Any kid living with chronic pain is going to struggle with life and learning and development.

That's why it took so long for my boys specialists to agree to refer them to a Dev paed. They said the sheer amount of pain they were in and had always been in and the number of hospitalisations they had had could cause the sort of major behavioural issues and huge development delays we were seeing. They all had doubts when we got the ASD diagnosis, but as the boys' health issued have improved and their pain levels have decreased, it has actually become more obvious that the ASD diagnosis is spot on.  

#20 TeaTimeTreat

Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:26 PM

Severe untreated reflux can lead to aspiration and in time an eroded oesophagus which I was advised is considered a signifant cancer risk.

No way would I withhold medication on a possibility of increased risk of ASD.

#21 FuzzyMum

Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:25 PM

QUOTE (sparkler @ 21/01/2013, 10:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Severe untreated reflux can lead to aspiration and in time an eroded oesophagus which I was advised is considered a signifant cancer risk.

No way would I withhold medication on a possibility of increased risk of ASD.

Thank you for stating exactly this. I get so passionate about this kind of topic. Yes, ASD is difficult and life can be very tough to manage. I've been through some very dark times myself and the future is very uncertain for us.

Take it from someone having to face the reality of supporting and caring for a DS for life due to the severe nature of his asd that I would never withhold medication either due to a possibility of increased risk of asd. I find it very sad that people would consider asd worse than risking the very real consequences sparkler has detailed.

OP, I really hope that you have read this last point that sparkler has outlined and please go and seek medical advice from another gp. The doctor is not an expert in autism and should not have used the information from that programme the way he did.

#22 lyni

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:39 PM

Thank you ladies for your thoughts. We decided that since DD was so distressed that we should at least try it. After trying it I'm not convinced that the reflux is the only thing that is upsetting her. The zantac made a big difference in the boys in a relatively short time - we haven't seen that in DD. So back to the drawing board with her pain and discomfort.

I do agree that pp that it is dangerous for Dr's to be giving advice based on studies where results are not concrete. I guess the thing is Dr's are human - and just like me and everyone here, have their own opinion.

#23 Sif

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:52 PM

I've never heard that. We used Zantac extensively for DS#2, but never filled the script for Losec because we'd heard - even back then that it was contraversial (for other reasons). DS#2 does not have ASD - though one case (and in your family, two cases) of ASD not developing cannot fell the theory that it might cause problems in others...

QUOTE (sparkler @ 21/01/2013, 10:26 PM)

Severe untreated reflux can lead to aspiration and in time an eroded oesophagus which I was advised is considered a signifant cancer risk.

No way would I withhold medication on a possibility of increased risk of ASD.

Our son had an ulcerated oesophagus, and holding him 'til I went crazy would not have been helpful advice (he screamed for eight hours a day - I was already going crazy!)...

Edited by Sif, 25 January 2013 - 12:54 PM.

#24 DrFeral

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:14 PM

I think it's a case of what comes first.  Can be hard to prove either way as ASD is a syndrome which means its a series of symptoms put together and not a disease (i.e. from one cause only).  Does bad gut health cause ASD or is bad gut health a sympton of ASD?

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