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The Matthew-boy saga continues

Last week, as you may remember, I posted that Matthew was going in for a new probe (an intraluminal impedence probe, which is relatively new, and measures ANYTHING coming back up from the stomach, not just acid like a Ph Probe) and the next day he had an endoscopy with biopsy to look for any damage to his esophogus. They told us the same day that he had ulceration and scarring in the lower part of his esophogus from long term reflux. We had to wait a week to hear any other results.

Today, I got to talk to his doctor. He had a long-term acidic reflux incident while he was sleeping, but also during the evening before bed he had two long-term bouts of non-acidic reflux. Basically, things just keep coming back up. The biopsies, thankfully, were normal showing only slight inflammation.

Since Matthew has major ENT problems (sinus and ear infections constantly) which can be caused/bothered by GERD (Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease), the doctor decided to start him on a short-term drug in addition to his Prevacid. The new drug is called Reglan. It is supposed to make his stomach contract and push the food through his stomach quickly. It is given 20-30 minutes before every meal and at bedtime. Dr. R said he had to tell me about a possible side-effect of the drug which he knew would scare me. He said that he would rather me be informed and scared than uninformed and unable to deal if it happened. So, here are my 'concerns' about a not-quite-four-year-old taking Reglan:

- Dr. R said Matthew could have a distonic reaction. In other words, he could turn his head and not be able to turn it back, or arch his back and not be able to straighten up, or his eyes could roll back in his head. The research I did on the drug said this could happen in as much as 10% of the patients that take the drug, and is more prevalent in children and the elderly. If it happens, it will happen in the first 48 hours, I am to immediately give Benadryl and call the doctor. 'Don't worry - it can be reversed'.

- The reading on the Internet said the drug isn't for people under the age of 18

- It also says it can cause mild to severe depression. As there is a familial history of depression and anxiety, I wonder if that increases his chances.

Am I over analyzing here? Do I think too much about what COULD happen? It's my son. If I could take this on myself instead of him, I would do it in a SECOND. Instead, I get to pretend everything is peachy keen and watch a surprisingly happy-go-lucky child complain that his 'tummy hurts'.


( 3 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )
Feb. 3rd, 2005 05:24 am (UTC)
Uhm, as someone who has take probably every drug ever invented... I hade my 24 hours on Reglan. I am really really surprised they are giving it to such a young boy. I know some younger teens and pre-teens who got Reglan, but the first two days were usually in controled environments (ie. hospital) because of the much higher rate of the side effects showing.
Feb. 4th, 2005 03:30 pm (UTC)
Personally, I think 10% is a VERY high percentage of patients. Reminds me of the recent rusty nail episode I had. If the tetanus shot would cause lockjaw in 10% of the patients, would I have taken it? Probably not.

That said, I ain't no parent. Is the cure worse than the disease? You'll have to be the judge.

Feb. 4th, 2005 04:26 pm (UTC)
That's part of my delima. It isn't one of those clear cut cases. Yes, chemo makes you really sick - but when weighed against cancer it's a positive option. If he weren't very sick, and had something he could live with, then I would never give him a drug that had such a high incidence of side effects. However, he's somewhere in between. His problems won't kill him, but he is very sick. Even being sick, though, he is able to lead a normal life. The sickness will only get worse though if left to its own devices.

Because they say most reactions happen within the first 48 hours of taking Reglan, I am going to start it tonight before dinner and watch him like a hawk all weekend. We'll have guests in the house from Austin, so they can help me look out for him.
( 3 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )