Maybe you’ve seen this story, but it certainly caught my attention: Tons of kids are taking the “little purple pill” we hear about all the time.
The Associated Press reported Oct. 4 that young children’s use of heartburn drugs has surged 56 percent from 2002-06.
The story rightly put the blame on obesity and overuse.
A survey by Medco Health Solutions, a New Jersey-based pharmacy benefits management company, examined U.S. prescription data from 2002-06. The survey suggested more than 2 million children used drugs for digestive or gastrointestinal complaints last year, The AP reported.
Medco estimated 3 percent of children 4 years old and younger were taking these drugs last year. This was a 56 percent increase, the highest among any child age group.
Acid-reducing drugs, called proton pump inhibitors, are the most commonly prescribed drugs for GI problems, The AP reported. They are used for acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Heartburn and acid reflux is common in children and often goes away with time or lifestyle changes.
The story dealt only with prescription drugs, not those available over the counter, which many are.
Please check out The Medicine Bag blog at http://blog.newsok.com/health.
Jeff Raymond, Medical Writer