H2 blockers and your baby's acid reflux. How they help, how long and why they seem to stop working.
Here's how they can help your baby's reflux. They block the messengers that tell the stomach to begin production of acid. These messages or signals. These signals are delivered by the messenger hormones called histamine (type 2). Histamine communicates with the cell by attaching to contact points located on the cell surface called receptors. They work by occupying the receptors so that histamine cannot bind and communicate to the parietal cell to activate it to start producing acid.
Acid is produced by the parietal cells located in the stomach lining. These cells don't secrete acid until they receive the signal from Histamine type 2 to begin production. (THIS IS WHY YOU MUST SPACE THE DOSE OF A PPI FROM ANY H2 BLOCKER DOSE)
The H2 blocker works by occupying the receptors so that histamine cannot bind and communicate to the parietal cell to start producing acid. However; they only block one of three different signals that the parietal cell receives telling it to produce acid, so the signal can still get through.
Some examples of what is available on the market today are:
The use of an H2 Blocker is GREAT for sporadic or mild reflux. But for more moderate to severe reflux they may not be the best choice. Here's why.
The human (and baby) body will build a tolerance to H2 blockers. So you will likely notice it’s depleting effectiveness over time. In fact they stop working in about 7 to 14 days. This is called tachyphylaxis (or tolerance). Here's information about that study. So even if the H2 blocker provides some relief initially, the infant often rapidly develops tolerance and becomes ineffective. Increasing the dose of the blocker will not help.
Another consideration is that histamine 2 blockers contain alcohol and alcohol is a mucosal irritant and may cause frequent diarrhea.
Contraindications are WHAT NOT TO DO
You should not take with any of the following medications:
They only inhibit one stimulus of acid production. For example, H2 blockers won't block production stimulated by the nervous system (stress-induced acid production).
Much of the contents of this page came from the archived version of the Marci-kids.com website.