1.3 Proton pump inhibitor medicines dispensing, 1 year and under
The Third Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation investigates healthcare use in four clinical areas. Proton pump inhibitor medicines dispensing in infants is included in Chapter 1 on neonatal and paediatric health.
Why is this important?
Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medicines have become increasingly prescribed for managing gastro-oesophageal reflux in infants. They are also prescribed for general symptoms such as irritability and crying (or colic) on the basis that reflux might be causing these symptoms. This is despite a lack of evidence of effectiveness, as well as uncertainty about the long-term effects of these medicines in the very young. In particular, there is concern about the potential for increased susceptibility to infections and food allergies that may result from the alteration of normal gut bacteria