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Thread: HELP - How do you get your baby to swallow reflux medication!!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default HELP - How do you get your baby to swallow reflux medication!!

    My baby boy was put on Zantac today. I am having great difficulty getting him to swallow it as he absolutely screams, gags and spits every ounce of it out of his mouth. I have tried positioning it on side of mouth and towards back of mouth to no avail. Any suggestions???

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Forestville NSW


    Ah yes, Matilda took it so well but Jovie was another story... we only tried the Zantac 3 times on really bad days before we stopped. With Matilda I would start breastfeeding & then slip the zantac in the side of her mouth so she got both at the same time. Thats exactly how I have to get anything into Jovie's mouth as well. With bottles and Matilda I would get her to start feeding for 1-2 minutes and then slip the zantac in and swap back as quick as possible. That was the only way I could get Zantac in.

    Good luck!

  3. #3


    Zantac can be a real pain, but in time they actually do get to like it. I copied these tips for you:

    In general, the medication is a liquid and the worst problem is that they either shut their mouths, spit it out, gag or throw it up.

    With medicines that you are having a hard time getting down, there are a few things you can try. Please note that once your child is used to having the medicine they actually learn to like it, so it may seem very hard in the beginning but eventually you will not have to fight them. So these are the best tips we have”

    • Use a really skinny syringe (like the 1ml kind) and put it way in the back of the mouth and squirt it really fast.
    • Try giving it slowly, bit by bit, especially when they are unsuspecting
    • Prop up the head of the child, lay them down and if necessary restrain arms and legs by putting your legs gently or firmly (depending on age of child) over them. Take syringe or eyedropper and squeeze medication slowly into back cheek pouch of mouth and give time to swallow. Try to avoid the tongue as that is where the most taste receptors are and most medication tastes awful. By syringing into back of cheek it avoids these receptors.
    • If they are crying you could squirt it a little each time they breathe
    Put in a teat or a special pacifier medicine dropper
    • Use a second person to restrain the heads and arms

    I know it sounds horrible, but they do eventually get it.

    One good thing about reflux meds is that they will only help reflux, if you are getting success with reflux medications, then it is reflux that is disturbing them. Zantac is a med that has been around a really long time, and is very safe for use in infants.

    Also know that zantac is very weight sensitive, you need to adjust the dose regularly with increasing weight. Dose can be worked out by---

    weight in kg times 5 divide 15 this is the minimum total daily dose, and double that for the maximum.

    And in my opinion reflux is under diagnosed, not over diagnosed, the problem is ranging the severity though and whether or not medication is needed.

  4. #4


    Basically because it took me so long to get a doctor to listen to my concerns about my son, he had to be failure to thrive and no longer eating, having apnea, ear infections for someone to put him on proper medication.

    A lot of babies have reflux, thats what I mean by underdiagnosed, sometimes it just seems to be the in thing to have but it is very normal actually, not all babies need medication though but the actual diagnosis is important. There are so many preventative things that you can try (propping, holding upright, thickening feeds) also, natural medicines, diet changes etc that doctors do not take the time in explaining or even looking into. It just makes me mad...sorry.

    My sons gastroenterologist told me that reflux hasn't increased to her knowledge, it was just happenning before and it was put off as colic, and in most babies that is fine they are fussy for a bit, and then they grow out of it.

    But I know that until you have actually been through it, you don't get it. My nephew had reflux, this was before I had children, and I was like, it can't be that bad. Yes it can. It really, truly can be that bad.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    In the middle of nowhere


    Jac the 1ml syringe worked for us too. Put it in the side of his mouth when his mouth is closed. Push the syringe gently between the cheek and the gums and in a bit. Squirt slowly and in small amounts at a time.

    Didn't take long ofr Darcy to get used to it and in the end she'd see the syringe and open her mouth. They do get used to it and it worked wonders for us.

  6. #6


    We had HEAPS of troubles getting Riley to take his Losec (reflux) mediciation too... It's a tablet that we dissolve in water then we use an eye dropper to suck it up and put into his mouth. For the first 3 months or so he would spit it out or spew it up...but now he takes it without too much hassle.

    Anyway, our best way to get him to keep it down was to 'massage' his throat as we were giving it to him (it took 2 of us)...we sometimes also had to distract him with noises and funny faces as well, so that he didn't realise he was taking the medication. It was hard work but the medication worked well so we kept it up (and our lives have been so much easier since Losec).

    PS I also agree that reflux is under took us over 3 months before we could get Riley diagnosed (after asking every time we saw the nurses/doctors etc) and it took me breaking down in tears before the doctor agreed with us...

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by SSmiles View Post
    and it took me breaking down in tears before the doctor agreed with us...
    Me too :hugs: AND it was not even my doctor, I went to a doctor I hardly knew, and bawled my eyes out to fix my baby. Parker was just over one, and we had been on zantac with limited success and had no idea that not all babies outgrow it at one. Losec has been our lifesaver too.

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