There are several reasons why your child's acid reflux symptoms can seem worse and then better.

Reactions to new foods seem to take about 2 weeks to show up. Rotating formulas buys your baby two weeks of comfort with each switch.

Dosing adjustments
Every time a baby gains 1 pound, the dose of medicines needs to be adjusted. Older children may need the dose adjusted every 2-3 pounds of weight gain. Once you build a good relationship with your doctor, you may be allowed to make minor adjustments between office visits. Please work WITH your doctor to set this up.

Medicines stop working
The medical term for this is tachyphilaxis. It means resistance to medicine. With H2 Receptor Blockers (Zantac, Tagamet, Pepcid, Axid), the stomach simply develops more receptors to compensate for the blocked receptors that signal when to produce acid. Switching brands may help an amazing amount or you may need to use a different type of medicine.

Doses are too low
Children's livers are so much more efficient than adult livers that they chew up medicine and excrete it before it can have a chance to work. This is particularly common with PPIs. The daily dose for a child may need to be divided into 4 doses even though adults can take their whole daily dose at breakfast.

Bad Nights
Your stomach is NOT supposed to produce acid at night but some people produce a lot. They may need a longer acting H2 blocker at night.

Are you measuring and storing correctly?
Years ago, we found that one of the liquid medicines goes bad after only 2 weeks. Could this be what you are seeing with your child? Does he get much better right after you get a new bottle? Medicines should be shaken well and dosed using only a special syringe that is highly accurate.

Reflux sometimes varies because of nasal drainage into the stomach, an ear infection, antibiotics that are harsh on the stomach, or sometimes for no reason.

This document has been reviewed by the medical team at

Check with your
doctor first!