Prevacid for Infants
It is typically safe and effective to use prescription Prevacid® (lansoprazole) in children as young as one year old for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and erosive esophagitis. This medication is also approved to treat GERD and erosive esophagitis in children and adolescents under the age of 18. Nonprescription Prevacid 24HR is approved only for use in adults.
However, Prevacid is not approved for use in infants (babies under one year of age).
Despite the widespread use of Prevacid to treat infant GERD, research suggests that Prevacid is not effective for use in babies. One study evaluated Prevacid for babies age one month to one year of age. The babies that were given Prevacid were just as fussy and irritable after feedings, compared to babies that were given a placebo (which had no active ingredient).
It is possible that this study failed to show that Prevacid was effective because the babies were diagnosed with GERD based on the symptoms of crying, fussiness, or irritability associated with feedings (instead of more objective but more invasive ways to diagnose the condition). It is possible that in the study (just like in "real life") many of the babies diagnosed with GERD actually did not have the medical condition and therefore were not helped by Prevacid.
Your healthcare provider may still recommend Prevacid for your infant. Just be aware that Prevacid is not approved for this use, and there is no easy and accurate way to give small doses of Prevacid to an infant.
Often, healthcare providers suggest cutting or breaking the SoluTabs to achieve a smaller dosage and dissolving the tablets in a small amount of water. However, the manufacturer of Prevacid specifically warns against breaking or cutting the SoluTabs, presumably because an accurate dose cannot be assured.
(Click What Is Prevacid Used For? for more information on using Prevacid for infants, including details on how this medication works for relieving the symptoms of conditions such as GERD, erosive esophagitis, and duodenal ulcers.)